Transfiguration Sunday

Transfiguration Sunday

The Transfiguration by Raphael

To sinful ears, the transfiguration of Christ is kind of an odd thing. Why are Moses and Elijah showing up in the New Testament, in events ages after their deaths? Frightening voices coming from a cloud?

Moses and Elijah represent the entirety of the Old Testament. Christ is the fulfillment of the Law that Moses gave, and the fulfillment of all prophecy which Elijah represents. In the transfiguration they witness directly that Jesus is the Christ, the culmination of all their work on Earth. God the father even presents Jesus as his very own Son, saying that we should “listen to Him.”

As we prepare to enter this Lenten season, let’s remember what this is about. Jesus the Christ who has restored us spiritually, who will restore us physically, and to whom we most certainly should listen.

While the snow keeps us all at home, Pastor recorded today’s sermon for us to share.

The sermon text is from Mark 9,

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

The Old Testament Reading is from 2 Kings 2,

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.

Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

And the Epistle is from 2 Corinthians 3:12-13 and 4:1-6,

12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. . . . Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Announcements

Ash Wednesday – February 17th begins our Lenten season.  The Wednesday evening services will be posted online.

Wednesday Bible Study – We have resumed meeting via Zoom at 7 pm. Please contact Pastor if you need a Zoom invite.

NEW Bible Information Class Starting: All are welcome to join – whether it’s your first time or a refresher – we will meet starting on February 7 at 9:30 am. Please let Pastor know ahead of time if you plan to attend. No class on Feb. 14th due to weather.

Donations: Unfortunately the expenses go on. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday for mailing on Wednesday. Remember if you are bringing a prayer request on behalf of another person their permission must be obtained.

Prayer during a pandemic:

Almighty God, heavenly Father, give us grace to trust You during this time of illness and distress. In mercy put an end to the pandemic that afflicts us. Grant relief to those who suffer, and comfort all that mourn. Sustain all medical personnel in their labors, and cause Your people ever to serve You in righteousness and holiness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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