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The Transfiguration of Jesus

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, God reveals himself in glory.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

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.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

2 Kings 2:1-12
00:00 / 02:31

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

2 Corinthians 4:3-6
00:00 / 00:35

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint Mark.

Mark 9:2-9
00:00 / 01:01

Listen to David speak to this gospel

A dazzling beacon of hope.
00:00 / 13:00

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon for Transfiguration Sunday, 11th Feb 2024

Take my lips O God and speak through them, take our minds O God and think through them, take our hearts O God and love through them this day. <Amen>

Clothes became dazzling white, the voice of God echoing around them, visits from famous figures of the past, hovering clouds … THEY SURELY SAW THE LIGHT … BUT, whatever would Peter, James & John have made of this incident atop Mount Tabor?

It was so extraordinary that when it was all over, and they were heading back down the mountain, Jesus told them to tell no one about what they had seen. That probably made total sense to them, after all —- who would have believed THE DAZZLINGLY BRIGHT LIGHT THAT THEY HAD SEEN anyway? <PAUSE>

I would hazard a guess that the word “transfigure” is not part of our regular daily vocabulary. After a morning in the office, or shopping, or cooking or digging in the garden, we are not likely to say, “ Well, that was certainly transfiguring!”  We don’t meet our friends and say, “Hello, you’re looking transfigured today !” It’s a word reserved for use in very extraordinary circumstances.

Today, we end the season of Epiphany with this dazzling moment of “Transfiguration”. So what can we say about this event?  What really happened that day & why did it happen? It is recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, & Luke, but they were not there that day on Mount Tabor, Jesus was with Peter, James and John.

There on the mountain top with the disciples, Jesus was somehow dazzlingly transformed, changed to such an extent that He didn’t look the same as he usually did. On the mountain that day Jesus appeared somehow different, not entirely human anymore, but shining with the brilliant light, beauty and glory of God. Jesus appeared Divine.

Perhaps we should say that He was not so much changed as revealed, revealed to be who He really was, – the Beloved Son of God. Shining with a blindingly divine light and radiating the brilliance of that light. For Jesus to be transfigured was for Him to be appearing for the first time as who He really was … The beloved Son of God.

Now, this was a sign, confirmation if you like, that from this day on Jesus would appear as His true self.  A veil had fallen from Jesus, Peter James and John now quite literally could see him in the new light. They now saw that Jesus wasn’t just a preacher or teacher, not just a leader.

He was no longer just Jesus of Nazareth, a veil had been removed … ah yes, but not just from Jesus, it is also important for us to see that a veil had also fallen from Peter James and John for they now began to realise just how different things were and were going to become.

For one, brief, shining moment God had somehow opened a window and they had seen history and the future. Both their own future and that of the whole world, and they would never be the same again after that moment. In our human limitation, the Transfiguration can seem so bizarre and so other worldly, it can be easy to assume that we are supposed to approach it with awe & a kind of sober reverence, and of course there is an element of truth in that – it was indeed a momentous occasion for Jesus & the disciples. However, we should also see it as a moment of joy, because for God, the Transfiguration presented an opportunity to declare to the world His love for Jesus. “This is my Son, the beloved.” <PAUSE>

The beloved Son that God, because He loves us so much, sent to us to share in our humanity and to redeem us, by His blood, on the cross. <PAUSE>

At the Transfiguration we are privileged to be in the presence of that all embracing love of God.  The awesome imagery of the transfiguration, frightening as it may have been for the disciples, does not just portray an image of intimidating, inexplicable majesty. It is also a scene of tenderness, a reminder to us all that love, “the beloved” is a characteristic of God that is shared.

God loves, God interacts, God shares. <PAUSE>

We should take delight in Jesus as God does. As God expressed His love for, and delight in, Jesus through the transfiguration, so should we as we gain more insight into the divinity of Jesus.

That day at the top of Mount Tabor, Peter, James, and John found themselves on holy ground, in privileged company as Jesus appeared alongside those two great prophets Moses and Elijah … and they saw the light.

In the Old Testament those ancient prophets had both shared a moment of striking intimacy with God. When one is so close to God, everything changes, impossibilities fade away. Both prophets, like Jesus, laboured to help the people of God remain faithful in the face of temptation. They all sought to keep the people of God hopeful as they journeyed through the burdens of life.

Moses’ and Elijah’s closeness to God wasn’t something to be kept to themselves, it energised them & motivated them in their service to others, equipping them to know and follow the way of God.

At the Transfiguration, Jesus stood in impressive company, sharing the moment with two others who knew what it was to be in close communion with God.

The dazzling light of the Transfiguration stands as a beacon that shines ahead of us into the coming Lenten season and to keep that season in perspective, sombre yes, but NEVER without hope … because, now, WE see the light.

The dazzling light of The Transfiguration is a light of promise that God is here, that God is knowable, that God seeks a relationship with us … because God is life, and God is love.              

Always remembering that when we delight in and love Jesus and show His light to others then … to God will be the glory.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te tama me te Wairua tapu.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

Almighty God, at the Transfiguration You showed Jesus in a new light, in a new state of glory and gave His disciples a glimpse of what they would see in His risen life.  As we worship together week by week help us to get a glimpse of Your heavenly kingdom as well as a deeper understanding of how Your Son, Jesus, can transfigure our lives.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

(LONGER pause for silent, personal reflection)

In response to the call today “Lord, in Your Mercy” Our plea is, “Hear our prayer”

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

As we pray for our communities we bring before you all those who lead and inspire our worship, those who visit and pray for the sick and bereaved - all those who seek to live out the life of The Risen Christ.  

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Creator God, as we pray for Your world we ask that You take from us all hatred and prejudice.  Give us the spirit of love, for all people whatever their race or creed and give the same spirit of acceptance to all world leaders that through mutual understanding and common endeavour peace and prosperity may be increased throughout the world.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Loving God, with the grace of your holy spirit, comfort all who are in sorrow, need, sickness or adversity.  Remember those who suffer persecution for their faith.  Have mercy on those to whom death draws near.  Give consolation to those in sorrow or mourning and, as You take them into Your tender care, may they be strengthened by the power of Your love.


We especially raise before you now all those who have asked for our prayers from around the world … those we know in New Zealand, in Singapore, in Argentina, in France, in Australia, in the US, in Canada, in Austria, in Ukraine, in China and any others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by you.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Merciful God, we pray for all who have died; especially those who, by the example of their lives, encouraged us in our faith.  As we pray for them, may they, in turn, continue to pray for us so that we may stay true to our faith and give the example of ourselves to others.

May all the faithful departed now rest in peace as they most surely have risen in glory to spend eternity in unison with The Risen Christ.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Gracious God, as we leave this time of worship, help us to take with us all that we have heard during our time together, may those words be grafted onto our hearts and produce in us the fruits of a good life, to the praise and honour of your Holy Name.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Forth in the peace of Christ we go; Christ to the world with joy we bring; Christ in our minds, Christ on our lips, Christ in our hearts, the world’s true King.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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