Sermon Preparation -
February 14, 1999
Transfiguration Sunday, Valentine's Day
Six days later [after speaking about his own suffering and death] Jesus took Peter and the brothers James and John with him. They went up on a very high mountain where they could be alone. There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. His face was shining like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
All at once Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus. So Peter said to him, "Lord, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
While Peter was still speaking, the shadow of a bright cloud passed over them. From the cloud a voice said, "This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him. Listen to what he says!" When the disciples heard the voice, they were so afraid that they fell flat on the ground. But Jesus came over and touched them. He said, "Get up and don't be afraid!" when they opened their eyes, they saw only Jesus.
On their way down from the mountain, Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man had been raised from death. (CEV)
1. Obviously a holy and transfiguring experience does not keep one from the difficulties of life known here as death.
We are never alone. When we least expect it, out of suffering and death, come visitors to remind one that the great goal has already been reached - you are already GOD's own dear child and GOD is pleased.
2. Why is this good news to be kept quiet until after a resurrection has occurred? Is this not important information for folks while they are fearfully down in the valley of the shadow of death? Why wait until we've come through another fear of death and betrayal to hear again and again of this transfiguration which is available?
3. Valentine's Day has become a day for lovers. Isn't it wonderful when GOD's own dear children find one another in a transfiguring love - the glow of love is unmistakable and glorious. Age differences, racial differences, sexual orientation similarities, and other social barriers are broken down after the resurrection of love in people's lives. It is good for us to witness transfigurations which bring bright light.
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