We complete our focus on Seeking God with a celebration of the Transfiguration!
“And all of us, with unveiled faces …" - 2 Corinthians 3:18
The Transfiguration is a pivotal experience in the lives of Jesus’ disciples, as it is in our own lives and faith journey. It profoundly captures the deeper meanings of the season of Epiphany – the revealing, the “making-known” of God. The Gospels describe a mystical, mountaintop experience in which certain of Jesus’ followers see him transfigured. In the story, Jesus’ appearance changes dramatically, he looks different to them. In reality, a veil is lifted from their understanding and they see him in a new light. It is an invitation to awaken to the true reality of Christ as the one promised by the prophets, the One in whom God is re-creating the world. It is an invitation to them – and to us – to be transformed by that revealed identity.
The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. PLEASE NOTE: I have chosen to use more traditional Transfiguration First and Second Readings. This will not affect the wonderful song selections you have for the day!
Blessings and peace to you all,
- Pastor Brad Highum
Almighty God, the light of your truth shines from the mountaintop into our hearts. Transfigure us in the love of your Son, and illumine the world with your image, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
First Reading: Exodus 34:29-35
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; 34 but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining; and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
1 The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2 The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he!
4 Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them.
8 O Lord our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9 Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. 14 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. 4 Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
17 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid." 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, "Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."