Submitted by Jan on Tue, 21/02/2017 – 10:16
Transfiguration Sunday – Last Sunday before Lent
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: 2 Peter
Verse: 16 – 21
A few days ago, late December 2016, I was fortunate to meet a young woman living with HIV, who had been a beneficiary of the HIV project that I coordinated from 2010 to 2011, when we had to close it due to lack of funding.
As we met, we hugged affectionately and kissed each other a few times. For grown up men and women to greet each other as freely like we did, is uncommon in my culture, but because we were so happy to meet again after 5 years of physical separation, we just unintentionally forgot the limitations culture impose on us in terms of physical contact.
We talked a lot and she shared with me her current socio-economic situation, which is not bad. I told her many things, but I want emphasize this, “Pauline (not her real name) you look so nice! Now you can believe what we used to tell you, that HIV and AIDS are not synonymous with immediate death as many people say. We used to tell you that, if someone could manage to live positively, he or she is likely to survive for many years. Since we closed the HIV project I have witnessed the death of many people who were supposedly HIV negative, including our former colleague in the HIV project, but I have met many people living with HIV who, by the grace of God, are alive so far and have their health situation under control”.
Pauline’s life experience, and the success stories of a couple of real cases I was fortunate to have followed up, give me more confidence, to assist people living with HIV to regain hope for their lives and for their future.
This situation is similar to Peter´s experience in the passage we are reading. He is confident to speak about the coming of the Lord Jesus and His majesty, because of three strong points of evidence that he has: He saw (visual evidence), he heard (auditory evidence) and he happened to be present when the fact occurred (presence evidence). This happened on the sacred mount where Jesus transfigured before Peter, John and James, who witnessed this miracle personally.
So, contrary to the false prophets who tell myths and invented stories, Peter spoke based on evidence.
Like Peter, we are requested to use our personal experiences, or other people’s positive experiences that we are aware of, as evidences as we witness about our faith and further response to the challenges of HIV and AIDS.
To Think About / Discuss: How do we use our personal or other peoples’ life experiences as positive evidence to witness of our faith in Christ and communicate hope to people living with HIV?
Written By: Eduardo Vundo Sassa, Pastor and CABSA Voluntary Representative in Angola and trained CCOH facilitator.
Author: Sassa EV (Ps)