Peter proclaims Jesus as the long-ago promised Messiah. On the mountain top Peter sees Jesus alongside the titans of the faith, Moses and Elijah. The real truth about this savior is revealed. The status quo dies and we find new life on the other side. Why Church? Because church proclaims Jesus’ revelation.
INTRODUCTION & REFLECTION
Call to Worship
L: Who is this Jesus, who taught and healed in the villages?
C: He is the Messiah!
L: Who is this Jesus, who was to be rejected and suffer and die?
C: He is the Messiah!
L: Who is this Jesus, who was revealed on the mountain as God’s beloved?
C: He is the Messiah!
Prayer of the Day
Bright Son of God, let us know you and proclaim you as the Messiah, the one in whom all our hope lives. Help us follow you, even to the cross, where we will see you revealed in full, giving new life to all your people.
• Hail to the Lord’s Anointed- ELW #311
• How Good, Lord, to Be Here!- ELW #315
• Jesus on the Mountain Peak- ELW #317
• I Want to Walk as A Child of the Light- ELW #815
• Days of Elijah- Robin Mark
• Show Me Your Glory- Avery, et. al. (Third Day)
• Hills and Valleys- Tauren Wells
Narrator: Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples,
Jesus: “Who do people say that I am?”
Narrator: And they answered him,
Disciples: “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
Narrator: He asked them,
Jesus: “But who do you say that I am?”
Narrator: Peter answered him,
Peter: “You are the Messiah.”
Narrator: And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said,
Jesus: “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Narrator: He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them,
Jesus: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Narrator: And he said to them,
Jesus: “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
Narrator: Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus,
Peter: “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
Narrator: He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice,
Voice from Heaven: “This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him!”
Narrator: Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
The Transfiguration was the Mountain Top revelation of Jesus for Peter, James, and John. Question is, what was your “mountain top” experience which revealed Jesus as Lord and Savior for you? Many in the Christian realm answer this as the time and place when they were born again. This often causes consternation for those who simply grew up in the Church and cannot claim such an experience. Maybe we are like the disciples wanting to stay on that mountain or unsure of the significance of the event? The Church is at its best when we can help one another discern the times when they have witnessed God at work in their own lives and in the world; a revelation where we’re transfigured, forever changed. Perfect wonders to ponder as we begin the season of Lent.
(Prepare a piece of paper with M O M written on it).
I have something to show you. What does this word say?
That’s right – “mom.” M-O-M spells mom, but are you sure that’s what this word really says? What if I turn it over like this? (Turn paper over to orient the letters to read “wow.”)
Hmm…You’re right – and “wow” is a good word to describe it too, because just by turning the paper in a different direction we have a whole different word. It’s the same paper – but we’re seeing it in whole new way. A new word was revealed to us – it is a revelation!
Something similar happens in our Bible story today. Three of the disciples went with Jesus up a high mountain when all of a sudden they see him in a new and different way. His clothes suddenly become a dazzling white and they hear the voice of God explaining that “this is my Son.”
There’s a special name for this in the Bible. See if you can say it with me. We call this the transfiguration. When something is transfigured it changes the way it looks or is transformed. We could say that caterpillars are transfigured when they change into butterflies – their whole appearance changes and they become something new.
Or our word was transfigured into a new word when we turned it upside down.
Jesus doesn’t change his shape – but like with our “mom” sign, suddenly the disciples are able to see him in a whole new way: as the Son of God.
It’s a very exciting moment that changes everything for them because Jesus was revealed to them as the true son of God.
Why Church? Because church proclaims Jesus’ revelation. Let’s pray.