Sunday, February 4, 2018

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.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der B├╝cher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures).
Image of the Transfiguration  © Google images


Time in the Word
5–10 February 2018
Preparation for next week, The Transfiguration of Our Lord

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.


Weekly Book of Concord Reading for Epiphany 6
The Large Catechism, Part IV, Baptism
[In to-day’s Old Testament reading, Naaman was reluctant to bathe in the Jordan River to be healed of leprosy. It seemed ridiculous. Likewise, the well-educated modern man considers Holy Baptism ridiculous: the sprinkling a handful of water on the head of a person and repeating a few words seems to him a meaningless ceremony of no real significance. But it is commanded by God and we then must respect it as God's way of bringing regeneration and cleansing to the sin-sick soul.]

Here you see again how highly and preciously we should value Baptism, because in it we receive such an unspeakable treasure. This also proves that it cannot be ordinary, mere water. For mere water could not do such a thing. But the Word does it and, as I said above, so does the fact that God’s name is included in Baptism. Where God’s name is, there must also be life and salvation [Psalm 54:1]. So Baptism may certainly be called a divine, blessed, fruitful, and gracious water. Such power is given to Baptism by the Word that it is a washing of new birth, as St. Paul also calls it in Titus 3:5.

Our would-be wise, “new spirits” assert that faith alone saves, and that works and outward things do nothing. We answer, “It is true, indeed, that nothing in us is of any use but faith, as we shall hear still further.” But these blind guides are unwilling to see this: faith must have something that it believes, that is, of which it takes hold [2 Timothy 1:13; Titus 1:9] and upon which it stands and rests [1 Cor. 2:5]. So faith clings to the water and believes that in Baptism, there is pure salvation and life. This is not through the water (as we have stated well enough), but through the fact that it is embodied in God’s Word and institution, and that God’s name abides in it. Now, if I believe this, what else is it than believing in God as the One who has given and planted His Word [Mark 4:14] into this ordinance and offers to us this outward thing by which we may gain such a treasure? (¶26–29)

Excerpted from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord, edited by Paul T. McCain, et al., © 2005, 2006 Concordia Publishing House, pp. 425–26.
Time in the Word
9-14 February 2015
Preparation for next week, The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Monday, 05 February 2018Psalm 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, 06 February 2018Psalm 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, 07 February 20182 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, 08 February 20182 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, 09 February 2018Mark 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, 10 February 2018—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.


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.

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