Wonder

The Celebration of the Gospel
February 11, 2018 —Sunday of the Transfiguration

 Jesus was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white.
… Peter did not know what to say….

—Mark 9.3, 6

________ We Gather as the Body of Christ______

GREETING

PRELUDE     Holy, Holy    Jimmy Owens, arr: Fred Bock

* CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader:  Creator God, you bring light out of darkness.
All:  Glory!  Wonder! Praise!
Loving Christ, you are the light of the world, light of our lives.
Glory!  Wonder! Praise!
Holy Spirit, you are light for our journey, radiating from within us.
Glory!  Wonder! Praise!
We thank you, and we worship you.  Alleluia!

* SONG      Christ, upon the Mountain Peak   Blue hymnal # 260

___________ We Attend to the Word___________

(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG    This Is My Beloved Son   Pepper Choplin

PRAYER       Blue hymnal # 259

OLD TESTAMENT    2 Kings 2.1-12
[At the end of his life the prophet Elijah is taken up into heaven in a whirlwind accompanied by a flaming chariot.  Elisha, who has steadfastly stayed by his side, witnesses this.]

Now when God was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As God lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your teacher away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for God has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As God lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your teacher away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for God has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As God lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horse riders!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
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* PSALTER       Psalm 50.1-6
[God shines forth out of Zion and all Creation reflects God’s glory.  God alone is our judge.]

The mighty one, Yahweh God,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before whom is a devouring fire,
around whom is a mighty storm.

God calls to the heavens above and to the earth,
to judge the people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare God’s righteousness,
for God alone is judge.
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NEW TESTAMENT      2 Corinthians 4.3-7
[The gospel, the good news, is “veiled” to some: they can’t see it.  But it shines.  In the beginning God created light; and in Christ God shines; and God also shines in us, when we turn our faces toward Christ to receive that light.]

If our gospel seems hard to see, it’s hard only to those who are not looking. The lure of worldly desires has blinded them, and keeps them from seeing the reality of the light in Christ, who is the image of God. For I am not proclaiming a message that’s about me: I’m proclaiming Jesus Christ as my Higher Power and myself as your helper for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, so that we ourselves shine with the glory of God that we’ve seen in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
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GOSPEL           Mark 9.2-9
[Six days after Jesus tells the disciples he is going to die in Jerusalem, he goes up on a mountain to pray, where he is transfigured in light.  Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets) appear with him. Peter tries to think of how to react, but God repeats what God said at Jesus’ baptism: “This is my Beloved, my Son,” and then adds, “Listen to him.”]

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
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SERMON

SONG    Fairest Lord Jesus   Blue hymnal # 189

* AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
We give our hearts to you, O God, Creator of all things; light of life and sun of our being.  We cannot understand you; we can only love you, with wonder and praise!

We love and trust you, Jesus, light of God, radiant with God’s love. In your teaching and healing, your prophetic witness and your work of justice, you shined for us the lamp of the Law and Prophets.   You chose the Way of the Cross, and God raised you to new life like the morning sun. We stand in awe and wonder, ready to follow you, to enter into your community, to share your wonder, to practice your love.

We breathe of you deeply, Holy Spirit: God’s love radiant in us, whose gifts in us enable us to shine with your light, trusting the power of your grace, to forgive, to bless, to seek justice, to serve you in the way of grace.

O Beautiful Mystery, O Radiant Love, we worship you; we bless you, in awe and gratitude; we serve you, in wonder, love and praise.  Alleluia!
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* SONG    Shine, Jesus, Shine   Black hymnal  #2173, v. 3

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
RESPONSE: This is my prayer.  All: This is our prayer.
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

_______ We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____

OFFERING OUR GIFTS There Shall Be Showers Of Blessing arr: Charity Book Putnam

* OFFERING SONG    Glory Be to the Father    Blue hymnal  #70

*  PRAYER
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will.  You have shone your light upon us in Christ. Now lead us by the light of Christ to love and to bless, following Jesus in the way of the cross, for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name and the Spirit of Christ. Amen.

THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

*  SONG    Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory    Black hymnal #2102

*  THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE    W\e stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.

POSTLUDE    Christ, Whose Glory Fills The Skies  Tune: RATISBON, arr: Gerald Peterson
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]

 

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