The Transfiguration was a worship experience. Jesus took His inner circle with Him to a mountain to get away from the busyness and the concerns of the world to be with the Father. Jesus’ three disciples witnessed the very glory of God found in Jesus’ Transfigured body in a worship experience.
Each Sunday therefore, needs to be a Transfiguration Sunday, for worship at its best is an experience with God. It is obvious that many in our churches are not having a religious experience. How do we witness Jesus first hand? This morning, let us consider the essentials of a worship experience, which should bring a divine brilliance to our lives.
With the Transfiguration as a backdrop for us this morning, let’s consider what worship can truly mean. Let’s consider worship at its best.
1 Fellowship with the saints – “Moses and Elijah.” (vs.4) As Peter, James and John were on the mountain with Jesus suddenly there appeared to them the two great prophets of the past; Moses and Elijah. Of all the great men of old, it was Moses and Elijah who is remembered as God’s chosen prophets. As two great men, to whom the prophecies were announced, Jesus would simply tell us clearly “Moses and the prophets they testify to Me” (Luke 24:44)
Beginning with the Law and Moses and the Psalms Jesus opened His disciples eyes to see that all of the prophecies of old were fulfilled in Him. When we worship Jesus, we worship Him who has fulfilled all things. In Him all of God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” Worship at its best is realized when we find fellowship with those who have gone before us in the prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
2 Real worship happens when we give praise and adoration to Jesus Christ – Upon seeing these three figures, Christ, Moses, and Elijah, our text tells us that the disciples were “exceedingly afraid” (vv. 2, 6) They were filled with awe and wonder. Is there a sense of awe and wonder in our worship experience? Do we have a sense of entering into the presence of the divine?
This is what we are to experience when we encounter the divine. Is our worship experience filled with a sense of the divine with a sense of awe, or is it merely an experience that we have grown accustomed to, or, even worse, something that leaves us ambivalent? Worship at its best calls for a sense of awe as we approach the divine.
3 Hear the Word of God – The Father speaking from the cloud that encircled them said, “This is My beloved Son.” (vs.7) We come to worship to hear the very word of God. As we hear the Words of Scripture, especially the Gospel we hear the very Words of Jesus. We come to encounter Christ. We come to hear Jesus’ Words. Jesus tells us “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me and I give them eternal life and no one shall snatch me out of My hand” (John 10:27) Whose words do we come to hear? We come to hear and to follow Jesus. Worship at its best calls for us to come and to listen to Jesus and His Word.
4 Challenge to obey – We come not just to a worship service but in service, we worship Him. Worship, at its best calls for us to follow and obey the Savior. The Father, speaking to the disciples and to you and me this day says this; “Listen to Him” (vs.7) We listen and we obey. Christ calls us to discipleship. He calls us to obedience. Worship at its very best calls us to be new people, new people in Jesus Christ. He calls us to follow Him as He guides and as He leads.
We began this season of Epiphany this year with John reminding us “He must increase, I must decrease”, We conclude this season with the same thought. We follow Him as He guides and directs us. Worship at its best is a challenge for each of us.
When we return to this holy house in three days, we will begin a pilgrimage of following Jesus to the cross and open tomb. This will be worship at its very best. As we follow Him down from the mountain of Transfiguration to the Mount of Olives, to a hill called Golgotha, to the open tomb may we experience Jesus in His glory hidden at that time but now fully revealed to us. As we do this, not only will we find worship at its best we will truly worship Him in spirit and in truth.