Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Looking Forward to March 6, 2011 -- Transfiguration Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Exodus 24:12-18
  • Psalm 99 (VU p.819)
  • Matthew 17:1-9

The Sermon Title is Shock and Awe

Early Thoughts: How do we respond when God is revealed in our midst?

Every year, on the last Sunday before Lent starts, we read the story of the Transfiguration.  Every. Year.  Which makes it a bit of a challenge for the preacher.  Because it is a rather difficult story to preach on.  Do we talk about mountain top experiences every year?  Do we challenge people to leave the mountain?

It is my belief that we do both.  As people of faith, we need to seek out the mountain top times, those times of knowing that we are in God's presence.  But we need to be aware of how they may hit us.  THey may come when we don't expect it, or in a way we don't expect.  THey may come as a shock.  THey may fill us with peace, with fear, or with awe (or all of the above).

ANd yet no matter what we have to be aware that those moments of connection are often fleeting.  THe challenge is to allow them to empower us.  Peter wanted to stay on the mountain where it happened.  ANd that is so tempting.  But it isn't how life is lived.

IT strikes me that the community of faith, the church if you will, has a responisibility to have people find the opening to these moments.  Note that I didn't say to provide them.  THe role of the church is to help people be open to them -- after all, we can't control when they will happen.  Many of my moments have not in fact been in church services, some of them have not even been in church-related settings.

For Sunday, I invite you to think about when you have known GOd's presence, and what that was like.


  1. The Dawson's have just returned from worship at the St. Augustine United Church of Christ. the miniter talked about the "thin places" that we encountr in life and suggestd that we be open to them...very similar message as to Gord's. As we post these comments Gord has not yet "presched" to the folks at St. Paul's. Its an amaxing world.

  2. Thank you,
    A young green pastor struggles with how challenge his congregation with, "a rather difficult story to preach on" and these few notes have help to inspire.
    Blessings on your family and church.