Sunday, January 31, 2016

Time in the Word - Transfiguration

A Study for Transfiguration Sunday
“The Vision Glorious”
1-6, February, 2016

 Prayer for aid against temptation: O God, You justify the ungodly and desire not the death of the sinner. Graciously assist us by Your heavenly aid and evermore shield us with Your protection, that no temptation may separate us from Your love in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer in times of temptation: Almighty and everlasting God, through Your Son You have promised us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Govern our hearts by Your Holy Spirit that in our daily need, and especially in all time of temptation, we may seek Your help and, by a true and lively faith in Your Word, obtain all that You have promised; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for patience: O God, by the patient endurance of Your only-begotten Son You beat down the pride of the old enemy. Help us to treasure rightly in our hearts what our Lord has borne for our sake that, after His example, we may bear with patience those things that are adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for steadfast faith: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of hope of eternal life in Christ: Almighty, everlasting God, Your Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ may increase daily and that we may hold fast to the hope that on the Last Day we shall be raised in glory to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Transfiguration - O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your only-begotten Son You once confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of the ancient fathers, and in the voice that came from the bright cloud You wondrously foreshowed our adoption by grace. Therefore mercifully make us coheirs with our King of His glory, and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

Monday, February 1, 2016 - Acts 2:42 - We celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord on the last Sunday in the season of Epiphany. For our verse for today, I have used to describe what we are trying to accomplish here at Zion. Luke gives us a description of the 1st Century church and this is what is needed as we enter the 21st Century. We are to be one in doctrine, fellowship, sacramental living, and in prayer. These are the four legs upon which the table is set. All that we do at Friedheim needs to relate to this verse. God has blessed us greatly these past 178 years. May He continue to bless us mightily in the years to come.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - Deuteronomy 34:1-12 - Moses sees God face to face and the promised land - Just before his death, Moses climbs Mount Nebo and from there is shown the Promised Land. He would not be permitted to cross over, but he was able to see it. Moses had faithfully led the people of Israel, and at last his work was done. He had done all he could, his time had come, and it was time for him to cross over to an even greater land than that which his eye beheld.  The Scriptures remind us that Moses’ eye was not dim – he had perfect vision. What secret did Moses possess? Verse 10 gives us a clue. Moses was a man “whom the Lord knew face to face.”  Moses was able to make keen decisions because he kept his eye on God. May that be our legacy, to keep our focus on God.  May that be our vision for our parish, to keep our focus on Christ.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 – Christians see the glory of God in Jesus - Who is this Jesus? That is the question the world has been asking for close to 2,000 years.  Paul reminds us that by faith we are able to see the glory of God in Jesus Christ. He is more than just a mere man. He is more than just a prophet. He is, as Thomas will confess in the Easter season, “My Lord and My God.”  The world wants Jesus to be anything but God.  A true confession calls for us to say that above anything else He is the Lord of life.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - Luke 9:28-36 – The Disciples see the glory of God - The disciples early on might have had some misgiving of just who or what to make of this Jesus. After the Transfiguration, there wasn’t any doubt in their minds. They knew that He was the promised Savior of the world.  There on the mountain Jesus manifested all of His glory as the Father spoke His approval of His only begotten Son. But why Moses and Elijah? Both came from a storied history of God’s people of old. In Moses’ time, the people followed willingly as they escaped Egypt. At the time of Elijah, only 7,000 were left who had not bowed down to Baal.  These two men represent high and low points of God’s people of Israel. There have been highs and lows in our parish history; yet One remains constant to this day. His Name is Jesus. May Christ Jesus remain the center of all that we do here at Zion.

Friday, February 5, 2016 - Psalm 77 – David reminds us that he cries out to God. David cries out loud and God promised that He would hear. What a wonderful promise. What a wonderful picture of prayer. Why do we pray? We pray because of our need and the Father’s promise to answer our cry. Need we any other reason to pray?  Zion, Friedheim, is a unique and special place. God has been good to us. No, we are not perfect and, yes, there have been times in which we have had to cry out to God. But every time we needed Him, He has always been there for us. One hundred seventy five years is a long time. It’s nothing to God. He has not changed and will not change. Cry to Him. He is near to hear your prayer and to answer you according to His good and gracious will. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016 - Matthew 17:4 – “It’s great to be here!”  That’s how Peter put it. Maybe it wasn’t the most eloquent way of expressing himself, but again, Matthew reminds us that Peter, “Didn’t know what to say.” As we consider both the wonder of Christ’s glorious Transfiguration and the many blessings we have been permitted to experience here at Zion Friedheim these 178 years, it is good, it is great to be here!  May the Lord continue to shower down His blessings upon us as we enter our 175th year of mission and ministry and as we take a pilgrimage into Lent to the cross and empty tomb. Yes, ‘tis good, Lord, to be here!

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House

Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, a nineteenth-century German artist known especially for his book Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (‘The Book of Books in Pictures’), ©WELS.ime in the Word Transfiguration

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