The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introductions to the readings for Transfiguration Sunday, February 15, 2015

This morning we celebrate the last Sunday of the season of Epiphany.   For the last six Sundays, we’ve been re-visiting stories from scripture emphasizing some of the amazing and majestic ways God’s glory shines through a variety of people and circumstances. 

This morning we have two different stories for our consideration.   Threaded through both stories is a common theme of majesty and awe those first witnesses brought to the telling of these “larger than life” stories of our faith ancestors.

Listen with curiosity for the “you had to be there” tone that emphasize how God’s glorious presence was made manifest to the key players in the stories and to the gathered faithful ones in attendance.

Between the two stories we will sing a responsive hymn whose lyrics encourage us to be attentive to how and where God’s grace is made manifest in the stories from scriptures and in our lives as followers in the way of Jesus today. 

We begin with a reading from Hebrew Scriptures about the passing of the prophetic baton from Elijah to his successor, Elisha.  Listen deeply for what nuggets of meaning you might find glimmering between the phrases thought to have been spoken some 600 years before the Common Era in the context of destruction, chaos, and impending exile.

A reading from Second Kings, Chapter 2, verses 1-12. 

“Elijah is taken up into Heaven”

….insert the reading here….

Our responsive hymn is found at VU#371 “Open My Eyes, That I Might See”

Our reading from Mark’s gospel this morning indicates a turning point for Jesus and his itinerant band of followers.   Moving away from stories about teaching and healing in the region of Galilee, we are introduced to a new chapter in Jesus’ journey as he anticipates his fate at Jerusalem.  Here on the mountaintop, we are privy to yet another story about how Jesus’ face shines like the sun as God’s glory is made manifest through him.   Imagine yourself somewhere in this story as observer or participant.   What emotions and sympathies are evoked? 

 

A reading from the gospel according to Mark, Chapter 9, verses 2-9 “The Transfiguration of Jesus”

….insert the reading here….

Response:  Through our shared experience of these words from long ago,

All: May we hear God’s living Word.  May it be so, amen.