Home Service for Sunday 23rd January 2022

Lord of change, of transfiguration and transformation, yet whose essence remains always the same, we worship and adore you and we kneel in awe before you. Amen.

There are many people who have gone before us, they are the pillars of our faith; and Jesus is our greatest example.
Let us come together to worship him today.
God, thank you that, as we journey with you, you are transforming us.
Thank you for the mountaintop experiences as well as the everyday journeys.
We ask to know your presence and your power as we live each day for you. Amen.

O God of all patience and forgiveness, thank you for bearing with us when in your grace you grant us spiritual highs but to our pleasure-seeking humanity, they are never enough.
Thank you for forgiving us for not holding the moment like a divine spark, safe within cupped hands to light the way in darker times. Instead we let it go and stumble on, yet still you forgive us and raise us up time and time again. Amen.

Please read Luke 9.28-36

Reflection

Why Moses and Elijah? Why not Abraham and David? Or, Job or Jeremiah who had gone through similar trials as Jesus was going through at this very pressured time in his ministry?

What do Moses and Elijah have in common? Quite a lot! They both fasted for forty days, for instance, just like Jesus had done in the wilderness. They also both went on a journey to Mount Sinai, the place where they both saw God’s glory. But most of all, they had a shared experience of what Jesus was going through.

God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, a place where they had worshiped pagan gods. Elijah had a similar mission, to lead Israel out of Baal worship. But what happened in both cases? Their missions completely failed! and from a human point of view, Jesus’ mission was to fail as well, ultimately. God called him to lead Israel out of spiritual idolatry, the legalistic religion of the scribes and Pharisees. But they put him to death, and he was crucified like a common criminal.

Moses and Elijah knew what it was like. They knew what Jesus was feeling, the despair and disappointment of losing his audience, how his message was falling on deaf ears. The fact that everything was going to end in apparent failure.

When we’re going through difficult times, it’s strengthening to find people who have a fellow feeling. That’s’ what Jesus encountered with Moses and Elijah. People who could relate to him. People who got it, who understood.

We can be like that for one another, and it’s one of the reasons why we gather as a church. When we talk to one another and find out a fellow congregant has gone through a similar experience in the past, it can be our own Transfiguration. Others who have gone through similar situations, can be our hope.

Even Jesus needed others to give him advice, counsel him, and reassure him.

Prayers

Let us pray to Jesus who came down from the Mountain of Transfiguration and brought his help to the needy.

Lord Jesus, we pray for our church; as we struggle to bring your good news to those who seem deaf and your healing to those who seem permanently damaged: renew our faith and help us not to be worn down as a church.

Jesus, teacher: we beg you to look at our church.

Lord Jesus, we pray for our nation; as our leaders wrestle with economics, as our people seek work and welfare, and as this pandemic could easily overwhelm our spirits: renew our hope and help us to more forwards as a nation.

Jesus, teacher: we beg you to look at our nation.

Lord Jesus, we pray for our children; as we try to provide times to meet and worship, as our schools seek to give them a good education, as half term is a chance for them to enjoy themselves and have fun: renew our love and help us to keep on being concerned for our children.

Jesus, teacher: we beg you to look at our children.

Amen.

Blessing

Jesus our Lord shines with the glory of his Father.
He dazzles our eyes, so what will we do?
We will listen to him.
He discusses the future with Moses and Elijah, so what will we do?
We will listen to him.
He is to be crucified and to rise again for us, so what will we do?
We will listen to him.
Go therefore and, in listening, love and serve the Lord,
in the name of Christ. Amen.

Suggested Listening Breathe on me breath of God – www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmkzSjs9eAw Transfiguration – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pri10SRoBPc Christ Upon the Mountain Peak – www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU-gDQTbC9w Christ be Our Light – www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt3Qc04ulOM

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