February 27, 2022 - Transfiguration Sunday

February 27, 2022 – Transfiguration Sunday

Morning prayer – Holy and loving God - whose nature and ways are far beyond our understanding, we thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus - who lets us see your face in his, who shows us your love in his actions, your grace in his manner of being. In him too, O God, we see ourselves as you would have us be and as your power is able to make us. Make us more like him now, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn #395 Take Time to be Holy

1. Take time to be holy,
speak oft with thy Lord;
abide in him always,
and feed on his word.
Make friends of God's children,
help those who are weak,
forgetting in nothing
his blessing to seek.

2. Take time to be holy,
the world rushes on;
spend much time in secret
with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus,
like him thou shalt be;
thy friends in thy conduct
his likeness shall see.

3. Take time to be holy,
let him be thy guide,
and run not before him,
whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow,
still follow the Lord,
and, looking to Jesus,
still trust in his word.

4. Take time to be holy,
be calm in thy soul,
each thought and each motive
beneath his control.
Thus led by his spirit
to fountains of love,
thou soon shalt be fitted
for service above.

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You most gracious and forgiving Father for hearing the cries of our hearts.  We now pray as You have taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlight:  Your support for GYTTE (Give Ye Them To Eat ) and the Tree of Life learning center in rural Mexico is deeply appreciated. Retired Pastor Lisa Mitchell will be there in mission to GYTTE and the Tree of Life Mission in Tlancualpican, Mexico, March 4-13.  You can help by giving:  Prayers. Monetary donations, bandaids, neosporin, gauze pads, tape, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and T-shirts and sweatshirts. Prayers. Drop items at the church by March 1, or Lisa will pick them up from you. Lisa Mitchell cell 570-764-3884, email lmitchell@susumc.org.  GYTTE is a UM advance #07629A. Checks may be made out to Lightstreet UMC with GYTTE in the memo line. The mission center trains local people to provide healthcare to residents and is an agricultural center, teaching residents to grow food for health and income. 

Offertory prayer: Transforming God, we come to your altar this morning, knowing that in our giving and in our living, we have often put “just enough” into living our faith so as not to impact our lifestyle or cause too much discomfort. We have been reluctant to let go of our affinity for the things of this world; and in our attachments, we have often missed the opportunity for the transformed lives you desire for us. May our offering this morning be an invitation to living a life radically transformed by your power, love, and grace. We pray this in the mighty love of Jesus. Amen.

Hymn of Preparation #396 O Jesus, I Have Promised

1. O Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end;
be thou forever near me,
my Master and my friend.
I shall not fear the battle
if thou art by my side,
nor wander from the pathway
if thou wilt be my guide.

2. O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
the tempting sounds I hear;
my foes are ever near me,
around me and within;
but Jesus, draw thou nearer,
and shield my soul from sin.

3. O let me hear thee speaking
in accents clear and still,
above the storms of passion,
the murmurs of self-will.
O speak to reassure me,
to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
thou guardian of my soul.

4. O Jesus, thou hast promised
to all who follow thee
that where thou art in glory
there shall thy servant be.
And Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
my Master and my Friend.

Children’s Time

Today Bible storybooks will be given to two of our children, Malia Deschaine and Jackson Fairchild

Message scripture: Luke 9:28-36

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Message:  It Is Always There       Pastor Becky Cuddeback

It is Transfiguration Sunday, the last Sunday of Epiphany, the preparatory Sunday before we begin our Lenten journey to Resurrection. The Sunday where we begin to seriously look at who Jesus is and how that transforms our lives. In essence, this Sunday should cause us to pause and think about how we want to live out the next season of our lives, because how we start our Lenten journey really does matter, it can be the difference between meeting the risen Christ or being unchanged in light of the risen Christ.

Jesus is ready to focus his ministry on Jerusalem, scripture tells us he sets his face toward Jerusalem. This is not a flight of fancy, but a mission and he needs his trusted inner circle to experience who he is. He takes Peter, John, and James to the mountaintop to pray. Prayer is vital to Jesus’ mission and his

teaching, he is in constant connection with God- but this time is different. While in prayer, Jesus begins to glow, he starts to shine- not just his body but even his clothes. This communication with God removes the veil between the earthly kingdom and the heavenly- the disciples see Jesus’s divine nature. Until this moment, they had only seen him as human, they called him Son of God, but now- their eyes have beheld what their heart or head had been saying. Yet, seeing is believing or so they say. Here’s the thing- Jesus is always, was always , will be always human and divine. It isn’t that sometimes he is human and other times divine, like on earth he is human and in heaven he is divine. It’s always both, held beautifully in tension and we have to live in that tension. The tension informs us about our nature as well.

What is it to be human? We could give biological answers- to take in sustenance, develop into maturity, and die- how about psychological definitions: to think, to feel, we could look to social definitions- to belong to community, build community and to participate in community. I am certain we could fill a day defining what it means to be human and to describe human existence. But there is one thing that sets us apart from the rest of creation- the embedded image of God. It is always there, not that we are divine, but created in the image of the Divine.

On the mountaintop, Peter, John, and James see the divinity of Jesus as he prayed, but it was always there- in the teaching, healing and feeding of God’s people. What we are called to see in each other and in all of God’s people is that image, God’s image in every single person. It is what connects us to God and to each other. Sometimes we have to patience to see it, other times it is utterly undeniable, but people will also transfigure before us and reveal the image- maybe when we see them pray as the disciples did or when we serve with others, when we become completely vulnerable and focused with another- notice I didn’t say on- because that is where we get it wrong. We should be in ministry with people not for people. We have to recognize them as human and remind ourselves, when we forget, each belongs to God and has the image imbued in them too.

As we look, as we recognize, as we focus on another’s image of God- we are transformed. We grow in grace, love and mercy, which I believe is God’s ultimate desire for all God’s children. It leads to abundant life here and in the world to come.

Let us pray: Gracious God, give us eyes to see, hearts that are open, and an undefiable desire to see You in the humanity of this world. Let us be the kindness, love and compassion you desire for all your world. Use our assurance of your acceptance of us to share the Good news of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Amen.

Closing Hymn Go Now in Peace

Go now in peace...never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of every day.

Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.  Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in love, and show you believe.  Reach out to others so all the world can see. 

God will be there, watching from above.  Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

Benediction:  Go into this week with the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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