Sunday, February 8, 2015

Time in the Word - Transfiguration

Prayers for the Epiphany Season: Almighty and everlasting God, who governs all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Your people and grant us Your peace through all our days; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

For peace in the world: Heavenly Father, God of all concord, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For blessing on the Word: Lord Jesus Christ, giver and perfecter of our faith, we thank and praise You for continuing among us the preaching of Your Gospel for our instruction and edification. Send Your blessing upon the Word, which has been spoken to us, and by Your Holy Spirit increase our saving knowledge of You, that day by day we may be strengthened in the divine truth and remain steadfast in Your grace. Give us strength to fight the good fight and by faith to overcome all the temptations of Satan, the flesh, and the world so that we may finally receive the salvation of our souls; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for TransfigurationO God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

The theme for the Transfiguration of Our Lord is The Vision Glorious. Peter, James, and John were privileged to go with our Lord onto a mountain and see Him transfigured. That is, they were given a brief glimpse of His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). St Luke tells us that Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah about His departure (Luke 9:31), that is, His impending death, resurrection, and ascension. It is a strange concept for the natural man, his understanding clouded by sin, to see the death of Jesus as something glorious, but it is precisely at the cross that the glory of Christ is made known to us. For it is on account of this work of Christ that Moses, Elijah, and all the saints in heaven have been received into glory. This is also the eternal destiny of all who put their trust in Him and His atoning sacrifice.

Time in the Word
9-14 February 2015
Preparation for next week, The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Monday, 9 February 2015Psalm 112:1, 3, 7–9; antiphon, Psalm 112:4—Psalm 112 speaks of the blessedness of the man who fears the Lord. This psalm is a complement to the preceding psalm, which tells of the blessings, physical and spiritual, which God bestows upon us. Those who trust in Him—who fear the Lord—show their gratefulness to Him by their lives, which are conformed to His will. The one who trust in the Lord greatly delights in His commandments.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015Psalm 50:1–6—The opening line of Sunday’s psalm heaps up divine titles: Mighty One, God, the Lord. This psalm was used in the temple liturgy, where the singers of it acknowledge that they will worship only the one, true God. Even the earth and the heavens declare His righteousness.

Wednesday, 11 February 20152 Kings 2:1–12—Elijah was one of the greatest of the prophets of God, remaining faithful and proclaiming God’s Word even when nearly all of Israel had apostatized. He is one of only two people in Scripture who didn’t die; rather, God took him—in a fiery chariot. The last verses of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5-6, prophesy that Elijah would appear before the coming of the Messiah. Jesus said that John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy (Matt. 11:14); later, Elijah appeared with Jesus at His transfiguration.

Thursday, 12 February 20152 Corinthians 3:12–13; 4:1–6—When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, from speaking with the Lord, the children of Israel were afraid to look upon him, because his face shone from being in the presence of God. They made Moses wear a veil over his face. (Exodus 34:29-35) As this veil concealed from the Israelites the transient character of the old covenant and its orders, so now when the Law (Moses) is read they cannot see the real significance of the Law as witness, together with the prophets, to the newly revealed righteousness of God in the Gospel. But, when we are brought to faith in Christ, the veil is removed, and we recognize that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law.

Friday, 13 February 2015Mark 9:2–9—Three of the disciples—Peter, James, and John—were privileged to go up on a mountain with Christ, as He was transfigured before them. That is, His glory as the Son of God, normally masked by His humanity, was clearly shown. Elijah and Moses appear with Him, and they discuss His impending death (Luke 9:31). Peter, James, and John are witnesses of the glory which awaits Christ beyond the cross.

Saturday, 14 February 2015—The words of Peter on the mount of transfiguration we make our own in the Hymn of the Day: ‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here (LSB 414). We, too, are privileged to be in the presence of Christ; when we gather for worship, when we receive absolution, and when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are in the presence of Christ, the Son of God come down from heaven, born of a virgin, transfigured, crucified, died, and rose again.

Illustration from Google images “The Transfiguration of our Lord”

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