Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Transfiguration

3.8.2015 3rd Sunday of Lent           Mark 9:1-13 Jesus is Transfigured before three disciples
The Transfiguration

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.
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.

Real worship happens when we give praise and adoration to Jesus Christ – Upon seeing these three figures, Christ, Moses, and Elijah, the disciples were “exceedingly afraid.” 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.

The Father speaking from the cloud that encircled them said, “This is My beloved Son.” 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.

We come not just to a worship service but in service, we worship God. 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” 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.

Almighty God, you know that I have no power in myself to help myself: Keep me both outwardly in my body and inwardly in my soul, that I may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ the Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[2]

[1] Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent,

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