Sunday, March 3, 2019

Transfiguration Sunday

Transfiguration Sunday – March 3, 2019 – Psalm 99: 9

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.

The suggested Psalm for Transfiguration Sunday is Psalm 99. The text is full of awe and wonder for a God intimately among us. The psalm mentions the pillar of cloud from the Exodus story, connecting us across the Old and New Testaments to the glory around Jesus in the stories of his baptism and transfiguration.

Verse 4 mentions Jacob whose name was changed by God to Israel, meaning "one who struggles (and prevails) with God." In Lent we address our struggles and look to Christ who has overcome enabling us by faith to prevail.  (1 Corinthians 15:57; Hebrews2:14; Romans8:37; Revelation21:4)

Verse 6 mentions Moses, Aaron and Samuel, representing leadership in politics, priesthood and prophecy. All three had experiences of guidance in wilderness places.

The phrase "Holy is He" occurs three times, in verses 3, 5 and 9. This expression of praise defines three distinct sections of the psalm: the first part declaring God's worldwide kingship, the second about God's justice in Israel, and third, some history to celebrate.

The transfiguration was an awe inspired experience. When was a time you felt awe? What language can be borrowed to describe that experience?

The disciple of Lent is almost here. On the Mountain of Transfiguration Jesus’ glory was clearly shown and experienced. Where do we see Christ’s glory today? Can you find it in acts of worship, in suffering, in His quiet leading?

The Psalmist reminds us the Lord reigns -
The Lord reigns in holiness—worship Him in reverence (99:1-3)
The Lord reigns in justice and righteousness—worship Him with a submissive heart (99:4-5)
The Lord reigns in faithfulness, mercy, and righteousness—worship Him with reverent intimacy (99:6-9)

O 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.[1]

[1] Collect for Transfiguration, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis

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