Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Mount Tabor & the Transfiguration

My friend Ann has been entertaining us with a travelogue on FaceBook about her journey to the Holy Land, and she's just reminded me of my one and only trip there, in 1996, the year I was ordained priest.

The scheme with Mount Tabor (which may or may not have been where the Transfiguration may or may not have actually happened) was that we went up the hill in cabs. Ours was a school party - I went along as a spare adult when a teacher had dropped out - so I was squeezed into the back of a cab with four or five strapping Kentish lads. With Mount Tabor, you go round and round, until you get to the top, and they drive fast, and near the edge of what looks like a sheer drop, from the inside of the cab.

Sandwiched between teenage boys, I had nothing to cling onto - on my part for health and safety reasons, and on theirs, for safeguarding - so we swung to and fro until I couldn't help muttering "if this keeps up, we're going to get a transfiguration of our own a lot sooner than we thought".

Then one of the boys said "don't look now Sir, but have you noticed the driver's only got one arm?"

"O Jesus!" I said, and it really was a prayer for deliverance, not a blasphemous expletive.

But he got us safely to the top, we enjoyed the views (the church sites themselves mostly lack a certain something in the Holy Land), and amazingly got us down safely too.

Untransfigured.

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