Date: February 23, 2020

Bible Text: 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9 |

How do you usually react to "the unexplainable?" The last Sunday before the start of Lent is called Transfiguration Sunday. It is about that time Jesus went up the mountain with three of his disciples and his glory was revealed to them in a dramatic vision. It's a foreshadowing of what comes at Easter, and it is really hard to fully grasp. One more sermon might not be enough to bridge the gap, but we'll give it a try nevertheless.

The service also includes our prayers and commissioning for one of our elders who is going on a one-year deployment to combat human trafficking in Afghanistan. May God bless and keep him and make his work fruitful in Jesus' name.

Notes from the Preacher

If you are interested in reading the commentary I mentioned from Prof. Eric Barreto, you can find it HERE.

One of the ideas I didn't pursue in the sermon was the reaction of the disciples as contrasted with the reactions of Moses and Elijah. The two superstar prophets do not appear to be upset or shocked to find themselves on the mountain talking with Jesus, who was shining like the sun. Perhaps since each had met God on a mountain before, they were quite used to it. Or perhaps they were riled but Matthew just didn't record it that way. But in my imagining of the scene, Moses and Elijah are always very matter-of-fact about the situation, talking with Jesus as one might have a hallway meeting with the boss at the office. The three disciples, on the other hand, are quite undone by the experience. As is often the case in unexpected situations, I think it took a little while before they were able to process that what they were seeing was really happening. Then when the voice spoke from the cloud, it pushed them over the top, as it were, and they were face down on the earth. I wonder if we are invited to reach a place in our life of faith where we would react more like the two prophets than the three disciples - glad for the meeting with the glorious Christ and unafraid because we've been in that Presence so many times before.

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