Last Sunday after Epiphany – Recorded Live

Today’s Collect

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2nd Kings 2:1-12

Psalm 50:1-6

2nd Corinthians 4:3-6

Mark 9:2-9

The Season after Epiphany will come to an end this coming Tuesday as we celebrate Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)and  remember that this was meant, from olden days, as the last opportunity before the beginning of Lent to rid our kitchens of those things that were not to be used during Lent…flour, yeast, oils, eggs and sugar to name a few.  This is an ancient custom that goes back to the Old Testament.

Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday when we will begin a 40 day period of fasting and meditation in preparation for the joys of Easter morning.  During the weeks following Epiphany we have been looking the various ways in which we might see Jesus working in our lives and those of others, I believe that this morning’s lesson would draw our attention to the need to “listen” to Jesus when he speaks.

We always focus our attention to Jesus baptism both at the beginning at the beginning of Epiphany and we look at his transfiguration at the end; and in both everts we hear God acknowledging his Son .   The event of this morning’s lesson is recorded in each of the synoptic Gospels.  It is a story of Jesus taking Peter, James and John with him to a mountain top where the scripture says that he was ‘transfigured”.  This is a word that means transformed.  Mark writes that his features were dazzling and his clothes were white as snow.  That must have been an amazing sight to see, but even more amazing was the fact that there on the mountain top appeared Moses and Elijah.  Remember it was Moses who would represent the law and Elijah who was possibly the greatest of the prophets.  Those were the two things that Jesus had said he came to fulfill.

While the disciples observed this marvelous event, they hear the voice of God saying, “this is my beloved son…listen to him.”  I would suggest that this is at the very core of this morning’s lesson.  When God speaks, you and I are called to listen.  

I suspect that there a many who would question whether God actually speaks to them.  Maybe he speaks to others, but not to them.  And yet, I would suggest to you that when you sense that still, small voice in your head telling you to do or not do something, that is God’s spirit speaking to you.  I believe that there are times when God uses other people in our lives with a word of wisdom who may speak his words to us.  We may even from time to time read something that will speak to us in a special way and we might well see that as a word from God.

We have talked about what it means to be witness before.  But I would suggest that there is a difference between an observer and a witness.  An observer merely sees something take place.  A witness sees that same event and then tells someone about it.  Peter, James and John were witnesses to this morning event.  They not only saw what took place, but they later went on to tell others about their experience.

This is what each of us is called to do.  We are to be witnesses of what God has done in our lives.  We are to share our story and tell others what God is doing and has done.  You and I are meant to listen and learn from God’s word then we are called to witness to God’s involvement in our lives.  You are called to be a witness not simply an observer.

And we are called to do that by a God who is good….all the time.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

“My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the holy sacrament of your body and blood.  I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul.  Since I cannot at this time receive you sacramentally, I invite you to come spiritually into my heart.  I embrace you as if you were here with me and I unite myself with you fully.  Never permit me to be separated from you.  Amen

A Prayer for the Church and Benediction:

Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.  Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you, and remain with you always.  Amen.

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