The Feast of the Transfiguration is on August 6 each year, but we also read that story on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
Here are some thoughts on Transfiguration I used as notes for my sermon today. It isn't the sermon itself since there were things I said about the story of Elijah and Elisha from Kings and told a funny story about 'rending your clothing' which Elisha did after the fiery chariot carried his mentor Elijah to God.
But I think I also said most of these words.
Happy Transfiguration Sunday!!!
JUST BEFORE THE LONG, LENTEN SOJOURN IN THE DESERT, WE GO WITH JESUS TO THE MOUNTAINTOP.
IN THE BIBLE, GOD DWELLS ON MOUNTAINTOPS.
MOSES MET GOD TO THE TOP OF MOUNT SINAI TO RECEIVE THE LAW AND HIS FACE SHOWN WITH SUCH RADIANCE NO ONE COULD LOOK ON ITS BRIGHTNESS.
JESUS WENT TO THE MOUNTAIN TOP AND WAS TRANSFIGURED AS HE SPOKE WITH MOSES AND ELIJAH. JESUS’ VERY BEING WAS RADIANT AND BRIGHT.
AT THE TRANSFIGURATION, PETER SUGGESTED THEY BUILD MONUMENTS AND STAY ON THE MOUNTAINTOP. AT THAT MOMENT THE CLOUD OF HOLINESS SURROUNDED THEM AND THEY WERE TERRIFIED.
FOR ME—PERHAPS FOR YOU—I FIND MYSELF IN THE ‘CLOUD’ MORE OFTEN THAN ON THE MOUNTAINTOP.
I FIND MYSELF IN THE ‘CLOUD’ OF CONFUSION AND THE ‘CLOUD’ OF DOUBT AND THE ‘CLOUD’ OF FEAR MORE OFTEN THAN I FIND MYSELF ON THE MOUNTAINTOP WITH GOD.
BUT IT IS VITAL AND IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT GOD SPOKE TO THE DISCIPLES FROM THE CLOUD. THE ‘CLOUDS’ OF LIFE ARE THE DWELLING PLACES OF GOD.
WE MAY MEET GOD ON THE MOUNTAINTOPS OF LIFE. BUT IF YOU ARE ANYTHING LIKE ME, THERE ARE A LOT MORE CLOUDS THAN MOUNTAINTOPS.
AND GOD IS THERE AS WELL. GOD IS IN THE CLOUDS AS WELL AS ON THE MOUNTAINTOPS. OUR ‘CALL’ IS TO SEE AND HEAR GOD WHEN THINGS GET CLOUDY AND OBSCURE.
“WE CANNOT STAY HERE,” JESUS TOLD PETER. IT IS NO DIFFERENT FOR US.
THE WORK WE HAVE TO DO IS ‘DOWN IN THE VALLEY’, WHERE THE PEOPLE LIVE. WE CANNOT STAY ON THE MOUNTAINTOPS OF LIFE.
—I PRAY WE WILL EXPERIENCE SOME MOUNTAINTOPS WITH GOD.
BUT EVEN MORE THAN THAT, I PRAY WE WILL LISTEN WITH OUR HEARTS FOR THE VOICE OF GOD IN THE CLOUDS OF LIFE. I PRAY WE WILL KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH US IN THE VALLEYS AND IN THE DARKNESS.
AND MY GREATEST PRAYER IS THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE THE WORK GOD HAS GIVEN YOU TO DO—TO BE CHRIST’S BODY IN THE CONFUSION AND FEAR AND PAIN OF THIS WORLD.
YOUR ‘WORK’—YOUR MINISTRY AND MISSION—IS ‘ON THE GROUND’ AND IN THE LOW PLACES. YOUR MINISTRY AND MISSION IS IN THE CLOUDY PLACES.
THERE YOU WILL SERVE GOD.
THERE YOU WILL FIND GOD AND BE TRANSFIGURED.
THERE…IN THE CLOUDS OF LIFE…GOD WILL FIND YOU AND WILL LEAD YOU WITH HOLINESS AND LOVE….