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02.26.17 Epiphany before Lent Transfiguration – Transformation of God’s Children Let us pray: O God, who in the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in His beauty. Amen. Today, we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord Christ Jesus. The word – Transfiguration – may sound
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   1 02.26.17 Epiphany before Lent  Transfiguration – Transformation of God’s Children Let us pray: O God, who in the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in His beauty. Amen.  Today, we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord Christ Jesus. The word – Transfiguration – may sound a little lofty – but, it’s just another word for change – to transform. And change is at the heart of the Gospel message - a message that directs God’s children to transform. So what does our change have to do with the change that Christ underwent that day up there on the mountain? We are not Jesus – we don’t generally glow with light and have loud voices from the heavens with us. Moses and Elijah don’t appear by our sides – and yet, we are represented in this story too. I say that because I don’t think Jesus was the only one changed up there on that mountain that day. He took three disciples up there with Him,   2 and He did it because there was something He wanted them to see. He wanted to show them something that would change their lives. And when Peter and John and James saw it – things did change. But, I’m getting ahead of myself – so let’s go back prior to the mountain top experience. It had been a long three-year mission for Jesus, with not much to show for it except threats from the rulers of occupied Israel and the religious authorities. Despite countless healing of the sick  – large crowds coming out to hear our Lord – miracles of feeding the hungry – and let’s don’t forget, raising the dead - - they were still a very small band of disciples. Not much to show for the effort given – especially for today’s modern measuring stick.  They must have surely wondered if the only reason people came out to hear Jesus was for a diversion – or entertainment – or a distraction from the everyday drudgery.   3 Or – just for fun - maybe a good debate between synagogue gurus and Jesus Himself. And all that time they must have wondered – and wanting to ask – but seldom daring to ask, “Who are you?” “I hear what you say, and I see what  you do – but, really – who are you?” Now it seems like the threats and hatred are building to a crescendo, and Jesus wants to go up to Jerusalem. Surely He understands the danger to Himself and to His small band of loyal followers? But, nevertheless, they keep following Him. Pondering, bickering amongst themselves about who should be the greatest among them, and who should sit next to Him in this kingdom He keeps talking about. When Jesus invites three of His closest friends to come with Him up on a mountain to pray, they willingly go – for they knew that He was something special and must have had a very good reason. But they were unprepared for what is to happen next.   4 And when they got to the top, Jesus showed them who He really was. He didn’t change in any real, fundamental way – only His appearance did – and then there were Moses and Elijah talking with Him – and then they heard a voice saying: “This is my Son, the Beloved; with Him I am well pleased; listen to Him! ” Astonishing – in fact so overwhelming, that they fall to the ground in fear. For the first time they understood that this was the Son of God. Something profound changed in them right about then. They had to know that the course of their whole lives was about to take a turn. It must have been incredible, and terrifying all at the same time. Because once they saw that change, once they realized that they couldn’t help but follow this man from now on – they must have realized that the world as they knew it was all about to change. Now maybe that has happened to you.
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