***Please see the announcements for additional worship opportunities this week, on Ash Wednesday.***
I invite you to gather with your home, maybe a neighbor or two, or just by yourself, and worship God at our regular worship time. I will be doing the same and praying for you. If you have new prayer requests or a pastoral need, please call me at home. We are working very hard to be sure that everyone knows we are closed tomorrow. Please spread the word. Most of us would rather hear it 2 or 3 times than not at all. If you live at 3838 or 3939, it will be announced over the speaker. However, please make sure your neighbors can hear the speaker.
Thank you for your understanding. May God bless you. Selected announcements are listed after the closing hymn.
Call to Worship:
One: Eternal Light, shine into our hearts.
Many: Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil.
One: Eternal Power, be our support.
Many: Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance.
One: Eternal Pity, have mercy on us.
Many: That with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek your face
One: and be brought by your infinite mercy to your holy presence;
Many: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BOW 310)
Opening Hymn: Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies
Response to Prayer: The Gloria Patri
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Ponderings: Discuss with those gathered or ask yourself these questions:
1) What is the passage trying to say?
2) What about the passage sticks out to me (good or bad)? Why?
3) What is God trying to say to me through this passage?
Things to Consider: Nothing about this passage makes a lot of sense. Nothing about a glowing God-figure is supposed to make sense! And that is ok. This is a story about transformation--about being made into something new, something better. In this passage, Jesus glows like that Purex commercial:
So, when Peter seeks to build shelters, tents, and shrines, he isn't being silly. Instead, he is seeking to find a way to capture the moment, to make it last because it was very special.
We all need to be transformed, to be changed. Just like Jesus, we need to be made into something bright and new. We know that in our minds, but sometimes our hearts push against that idea. Change is hard. We like when things stay the same. But if everything stayed the same all of the time, we wouldn't graduate from school, get married, have babies, get a new job, or any of a number of other good things. But I think the reason we fear change is because we are afraid of the bad changes in life: losing a job, a home, a loved one. We are scared of getting sick, or even dying ourselves. Change is hard. But we see in today's passage that Jesus had to change in order to do what God wanted him to do in the world, and so do we. We need to change...we need to move towards perfection in love in this lifetime...we need to move closer to the beings that God created us to be. And that is a good thing.
Jesus' transformation occurred on the top of a mountain. We all have "mountain top experiences" in our life, when we are transformed and experience God and life anew. What experiences come to your mind? [PAUSE for reflection]
However, we still need to come back down from those experiences. And sometimes, when we get back into the nitty-gritty life, it seems like a let-down from our spiritual high. And yet, what we learn from this passage is that Jesus didn't let the disciples come down from the mountain by themselves, he came with them. And indeed, Jesus comes with us too. Jesus is with us in the transformative moments, and in the valley times. Jesus is with us every step of the way, and will not abandon us. And that is the good news.
So this day, I invite you to pray and ask Jesus to transform you from the inside out--to wash you clean, to make you bright and new. Amen.
Hymn of Response: Christ Upon the Mountain Peak
Lots of faces that have been absent are here!
Pastor Angie helped set up for the seminar!
Evelyn R. thanks everyone for the prayers and cards!
Shirley R. thanks everyone for the prayers and cards!
Sharon E. thanks everyone for the prayers and cards!
Shirley M’s cousin, Yvette, is doing better!
Don L. is in the hospital after a heart attack.
Emma’s brother, Danny.
Barbara’s friend, Dorothy.
John and Doris Cromwell.
Renice is sick.
Susie’s cousin, Tom, is going for cancer surgery.
Mary J’s eyes.
Continuing Prayer Concerns: Tim P; Evelyn R. and her family; Edie W & Family; Myrtle M; Edith’s Family, Pastor Bonnie’s grandfather, Al, Shirley S., Pam’s friend, Joyce, Mary J, Don L.
The Lord's Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine in the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Closing Hymn: Be Thou My Vision