The peace of Christ be with you!
We had a wonderful chapel this week as we talked about the transfiguration! After a brief welcome, Elder J.C. Pharris led us in an opening prayer.
David Hunt, God’s good gift to us, helped us worship through song in our prelude, “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” Every verse of this hymn contains a promise we have from God, and a prayer we make because of that promise. This is how we are called to live our lives as followers of Christ – in prayer, because of faith.
Our call to worship was based on Exodus 24 and Matthew 17.
Call to Worship
As God called to Moses from the mountain,
we are called to be God’s people.
As Jesus called the disciples to climb with him
to the peak of another mountain,
we are called to follow wherever he leads.
As the disciples stood in awe at the sound of God’s voice,
we are called to worship in wonder and praise.
Our first congregational hymn today was “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” Since we were talking about Jesus’ transfiguration we sang this hymn because in the first, second, and fourth stanzas, there is this wonderful theme of blinding light, a metaphor for God’s glory.
To continue our themes of the transfiguration, Elder Brenda Coots read Exodus 24:12-18, the story of Moses going up the mountain to receive the law of God and spending 40 days and 40 nights there. Which is similar to the story of Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness after the event of his blinding transfiguration.
Next we sang “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” with the beautifully appropriate refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Our prayer time together is always a very special time for everyone to share their concerns and prayers and praises. There were prayers for each other, prayers for the president, for the people traveling in the snow and ice, for family, for the lost, for ministers, for the people of Ukraine.
After our prayer time I read our lesson from the Psalms, Psalm 2 and then we joined in singing our hymn of fellowship, “Footprints of Jesus.”
My homily was titled “Hope in Dark Moments” and was based on the transfiguration of Jesus found in Matthew 17:1-9.
“The moment of transfiguration is that point at which God says to the world and to each of us that there is nothing we can do to prepare for or stand in the way of joy or sorrow.”
After the homily we sang, “Wonderful Words of Life.” We had just heard some life giving words from Jesus in that he said to the disciples (and also to us): “Get up, don’t be afraid.”
Before singing our benedictory hymn, “May the Lord, Mighty Lord,” I delivered this charge and blessing:
Christ has been revealed to us
That we might follow Him and transform the world.
Go in love; work for peace.
May the self-revealing God
Be a lamp on your way
As the day dawns and rises within you.