Worship at Home for Sunday February 27

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we join Peter, James, and John on the mountain top with Jesus to pray. While praying Jesus’ appearance changed to glow with a light as bright as lightening. This event is known as the Transfiguration. May we allow the love and light of God to transform our lives daily.

The news has been filled with the news of the war in the Ukraine after Russia launched an attack on Thursday. This war is causing a great deal of concern here and around the world. Prayers for a just peace are upon the hearts of all of us. Prayers for hope and the love and light of Jesus to shine in this troubled time. Prayers for those who are experiencing the fear and pain which come from violent conflict. Amen.

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

Announcements:

  • Pancake Day, this Saturday, February 26th, from 7 am to 10 am, at Zion Lutheran Church, 211 E Madison, Owensville. Pancakes, sausage, beverage.  Freewill donation.  Proceeds benefit Sharon Borgmann's medical expenses.
  • Handbell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm
  • Ash Wednesday Worship at 6:30 on Wednesday, March 1
  • Chancel Choir practice after Ash Wednesday Worship

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Exodus 34:29-35, 15; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

 

Sermon: Shine Like the Son

My mother traveled regularly to Sweden to visit family. In the 1980’s she felt inspired to prove that her hometown of Deje had once been a center for Celtic worship in Scandinavia. She researched in her fashion and then explained to anyone who would listen about her theories.

One summer she decided that there must be something on the highest mountain in the area. So, she and my father followed the footpath to the mountain top. At the top of the mountain, my mother was disappointed that there were no obvious Celtic objects. My father wishing to make her feel better sat down on a large granite outcropping and told her to keep looking as what she was looking for might be hidden. That there could be something under the moss on the granite stone where he sat. To prove his point my father began to scrape away the moss. Much to their surprise, there were Celtic carvings under the stone. The most prominent of the carvings was an arrow that pointed East. My parents speculated that the arrow pointed to where the sun would rise at the solstice.

The following summer, I took a trip to Sweden to see my grandmother and other relatives. I arrived in time to celebrate Midsommar also known as the Summer Solstice in Sweden. So, you can guess what my mother had planned for this holiday. My mother, a few of her friends and I packed small backpacks filled with blankets, food and of course coffee and climbed to the top of the mountain to await the rising of the sun on Midsommar. In that part of Sweden, the sun simply dips below the horizon at 10:30pm then rises at 3:35am. It is never truly dark, but we hiked up the mountain before the sunset with plans to spend the twilight on the mountain waiting for the sunrise. Yes, the arrow on the rock aligned with the location of the sun. We then enjoyed coffee and rolls before departing down the mountain.

My mountain top experience involved light and looking towards the rising sun but was nothing like the transforming light that transfigured Jesus as he prayed on the mountain top with Peter, James, and John. The three disciples were astonished by the transfigured Jesus and the appearance of two of Israel’s greatest religious heroes, Moses and Elijah While Moses, Elijah and Jesus discussed what Jesus would accomplish in Jerusalem, the disciples were weighed down with sleep. A confused, Peter even offered to build shelters for all to remain on the mountain. Remaining on the mountain was not God’s plan. This was made when clear when a startling voice spoke from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” (Luke 9:36)

After the voice, Peter, James, and John found themselves alone with Jesus. The amazing moment was over. Moses and Elijah were gone. The transfiguring light had dimmed. The normally talkative three were silenced by the awesome events on the mountain top. There was nothing to do but wait to depart to the crowd waiting below while pondering all that they had seen and heard.

Most people do not have the opportunity to experience light on the mountain. Only three disciples witnessed the transfiguration. Other followers need to trust the story. One thing that all mountain top experiences have in common is that eventually you must come down from the mountain top. The journey down may be one of tiredness or silent reflection of what happened up top. Mountain top experiences are both life changing and energy draining.

Once down below, everyday life surrounds us as the crowds surrounded Jesus. There is work to be down. People need to be fed, to be healed, to be loved. Jesus and the disciples were an exodus journey to Jerusalem where events would unfold that changed the world. Only after the resurrection were Peter, James, and John able share the story of the transfiguration. Peter, James, and John became pillars of the Jesus’ movement as the early church was called. They shared the Son’s light with the world.

When I stood on the mountain top with my mother, we looked at the arrow in the rock to find the rising sun. We as people of faith look for arrows to point us and others to the risen Son of God who shines with an awesome light. Sometimes the directions may feel hidden as the arrow on the mountain rock in Sweden had been covered by moss. We need to pray, worship and study to uncover God’s direction in our lives. May we follow these arrows to share in shining like the Son.

 

Prayer: Take a moment to reflect on mountain top experiences in your life. The experience could be on a physical mountain or a spiritual one. How did it feel to glow in the light? What happened when you departed down the mountain Let us pray:

God of the mountain and the valley, be with us today. Help us to listen to Jesus in our daily lives to guide us on the way. Help us to live in the live in the light and to share the light with the world. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Peggy, Mindy, Dave, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, the Borgmann family at the loss of loved their loved one, for peace in the world.

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