Worship at Home for Sunday, February 19, 2023

Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday when Jesus goes up the mountain with Peter, James, and John and glows like the sun. Transfiguration Sunday is the last Sunday before Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22.

Thank you to everyone who supported Helping Hands through your donations (about $600) at the Souper Bowl lunch on Sunday. Thank you to all the adults and youth who donated food, cooked, served, and cleaned up!

At the congregational meeting on Sunday, January 22, we voted to upgrade the lighting in the church. Reinhold Electric has begun working on this project which includes upgrading the electrical wiring as needed. As you walk around the church on Sunday you will find that many areas of the church are transformed with a bright light.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • Newsletter Articles due this Sunday.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm
  • Ash Wednesday Worship on February 22 at 6:30pm
  • Choir Practice and Confirmation after Ash Wednesday Worship
  • Pub Theology at M. Clancy’s in Rosebud at 6:30pm on Thursday


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9

Sermon: Transfigured by God

If you type transfigure into the Bing search engine, you get this definition, “transform into something more beautiful or elevated”. So being transfigured by God means that we are being changed or transformed into something more beautiful. We are being elevated from our earthly existence by God.

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you felt that you had moved beyond this earthly life into something more beautiful and holy? Was it when you viewed creation’s awesome beauty in a sunrise, from a mountain top, on a river, or in a valley. There are places in the Ozarks where we can crest a mountain and marvel at the panoramic view. Some moments in life are so heavenly that our breath is taken away. I recall one autumn when Rondel, Eddy and I camped by the Current River. The leaves on the trees were orange and gold. The fallen leaves covered the ground and floated on the clear water. The scene was so breathtaking that I hold the memory in my heart as an inspiration. In the misty early morning, I took a picture of Eddy (age 3) with his fishing pole. The photograph is lovely but pales in comparison to the reality of the transfigured beauty of the day.

Other transfiguring experiences happen when we are gathered with family and friends. The joy and peace which fills our hearts as we gaze at faces which are transfigured in a loving glow. Moments when we think that it really does not get any better than this.

Peter, James, and John went up the mountain with Jesus. On top of the mountain, they experienced the transfiguration of Jesus, a moment which elevated their ordinary lives to the extraordinary. I imagine that Peter, James, and John were happy to be together with Jesus. It was a time to bond and to see the view from the top. Then the unexpected happened, Jesus transfigured from an ordinary human to a heavenly one whose face glowed like the sun. Peter, James, and John probably looked at one another with expressions of is this really happening. Then two of the most important people in Hebrew history start talking with Jesus. No wonder Peter wanted to build a place to stay on top of the mountain. Life does not get any better than this!

But then a surprising cloud appeared and announced that this is my beloved Son, listen to him. Listen means not just hearing but following through on Jesus’ teachings. This is more than a perfect moment. Peter, James, and John experienced the transfiguration so that their lives could be transfigured to completely follow Jesus.

There are moments so wonderful that we are transfigured by God. These moments provide us with the needed inspiration to listen to Jesus and to live out his instructions. The mountain top moments may have faded for the disciples during the horror of the crucifixion and later during times of rejection and persecution. Peter affirms this when he said, “We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star when we laid the facts out before you regarding the powerful return of our Master, Jesus Christ. We were there for the preview! We saw it with our own eyes: Jesus resplendent with light from God the Father as the voice of Majestic Glory spoke: ‘This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of all my delight.’ We were there on the holy mountain with him. We heard the voice out of heaven with our very own ears.” (2 Peter 1:16-18, The Message) The transfiguration gave Peter, James, and John the strength to keep moving forward as they remembered the heavenly preview.

When our lives are filled with grief and struggle, remembering moments of heavenly transfiguration can keep us faithful. Remember when we were on that mountain top and saw the sunrise together. Remember when we were all gathered for with the family and laughed with joy. Remember just how beautiful our wedding day was. Remember when we all shone with the light of the Son. These “remember when’s” sustain us during ordinary and difficult days.

Some Christians feel like a failure when they are unable to recreate the mountain experiences, but they are wrong. These special moments are glimpses of heaven given by God to inspire and sustain. God elevates us in special moments to empower us to be faithful in ordinary and difficult times. We know that there is something better than the struggles of work, illness, war, and fear. When no one understands. When you are tempted to lose your faith. When you want to stop doing the right in faith, keep doing it. Do not give up hope! Remember when we all were transfigured by God.

Prayer: God who elevates us in the heavenly moments, grant us the courage and strength to live ordinary lives of faith. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Mary Ann (Ken’s mom), Jesse, Kate, Kyle and Carmen and for peace.
Prayers for Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.