After the welcome and notices, during which we were reminded of the Friendship Circle Morning Tea following the service and the Bible Studies at the Helen and Graham's home, starting on February 13, we received the
Call To Worship
Helen alerted us to our entering into the presence of God. She directed us to go inside ourselves; to put away all distractions; to look at this Holy place; to be aware of the life in us. "This place is Holy and we are in the presence of God"
Helen then sang the first verse of Hymn MP 50, setting the foundation for what was to follow:
"Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One is here;
Come bow before him now
with reverence and fear:
in Him no sin is found-
we stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One is here."
We continued acknowledging his glory, his Holy fire, his splendour, his radiance, his power, his Grace - moving in this place.
Prayer of Praise and Confession.
In this prayer we gave thanks and praise to God for showing the possibilities for us exemplified in Christ and for God's care and encouragement as we step out towards those possibilities. We acknowledged our times of discouragement and the times when we overreach ourselves and forget who is in charge. We also confessed our lack of vision, despite the very clear example we have been given. And asked forgiveness.
For me, I always have to add the separate confession of being scared stupid. (Ask someone else God, it's too hard for me)
Words of Assurance
"There is no end to the life of grace in Jesus Christ. Have no doubt, we are loved children of God, and we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God. “
Amen. Amen. Amen and Amen to that,
Hymn 85 "To God be the Glory"..."and opened the life-gate that all may go in." Only the giver of Life can do that, and am I glad that happens.
Scripture Reading. Luke 9:28 - 36 The Transfiguration. They saw Jesus as he was and is.
God the Son.
Reflection Wow! Up here things sure look different.
Helen pointed out that in considering the Transfiguration we are not in the territory of people like Miss Fisher or Inspector Barnaby. There is nothing to offer that people like them can work with. As Christians we take a step into a world we cannot logically explain. Helen then provided the background to the record and the questions it answers:
Who is Jesus?
How is this role carried out?
What does it mean to be a follower?
The Transfiguration tells us that Jesus is greater than Moses or Elijah and when God speaks He tells them (us) "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" I think I will - it would take a bigger ego than mine to want to discuss other options here.
This claim was cemented as Jesus was clothed in Shekinah glory, the light not known on earth.
Helen spoke of this being about Jesus' departure to allow for God's restoration. Jesus' departure was to be a way of suffering and the disciples had already been told that to follow Jesus, they too (and we) would have to suffer with him and take up their (our) cross.
But before we can follow we have to LISTEN.
Down here in the valley our image of things is all murky. On the mountain top the disciples saw clearly, as we will.
We will see God clearly, bathed in the Shekinah Glory.
For now we have to BELIEVE!
Hymn 80 "Immortal, Invisible, God only wise" Beyond our comprehension. Beyond our imagination. Beyond anything we have ever known before. "Most blessed, most glorious".
And we are his children!!!!
Freewill Offering and Prayer for Others
"God of Shekinah Glory,
God of dazzling light.
You blow us away."
Prayers for God to hold us, our family, friends and all those in need around the world, in his palm, in the coming week, to make Earth a little more like it should be.
Hymn TIS 675 "Lord the light of your love is shining". A hymn to The Untarnished Light.
The Light unbearable to look upon but vital to our survival as whole people.
I don't dare look but I don't dare move away, I bow my head.
"Let your light shine in love."
"Let there be love shared among us,
let there be love in our eyes;
may now Your love sweep this nation,
cause us, O Lord, to arise;
give us a fresh understanding
of brotherly love that is real;
let there be love shared among us,
Let there be love,"
We joined hands and swayed in resonance with each other and with the message we had just soaked up.
Be generous, heap your love upon others. You don't lose any of it - somehow the more you bucket it over others, the more it grows within.