“The Apostolic Witness and the Prophetic Word” (2 Peter 1:16-21)

The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sunday, February 23, 2020

“The Apostolic Witness and the Prophetic Word” (2 Peter 1:16-21)

“Cleverly devised myths.” That’s what we Christians are accused of believing. All that stuff about Jesus Christ being the Son of God and the only Savior of the world? “Just a bunch of fables, fairy tales, myths.”

But then this is nothing new. Even back in the first century, Christians were ridiculed for believing the same thing. People said they were falling for a bunch of poppycock, fables and fairy tales. St. Peter refers to this in our epistle for today when he writes, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And to counter that false accusation, Peter then cites two testimonies that support the message about Christ. They are the eyewitness testimony of the apostles and the Spirit-inspired testimony of the prophets in Holy Scripture. The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles–these give us a firm foundation for our faith. They assure us that we are not following just some “cleverly devised myths.” And so our theme this morning: “The Apostolic Witness and the Prophetic Word.”

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Published in: on February 22, 2020 at 11:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Best Picture: The Transfiguration of Our Lord” (Matthew 17:1-9)

The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sunday, February 26, 2017

“Best Picture: The Transfiguration of Our Lord” (Matthew 17:1-9)

Tonight will be the Academy Awards ceremony coming from Los Angeles. Tonight they’ll give out the award for, among other things, Best Picture of the year. I don’t know which one will win, but I want to tell you, this morning here in the church, we get to see a far better “Best Picture,” and it is none other than “The Transfiguration of Our Lord.”

The picture we see at the Transfiguration had its share of special effects–lighting, sound, and so on. And there were a couple of guest stars making a cameo appearance–Moses and Elijah. But clearly the leading man in this story is our Lord Jesus Christ himself. He is the star shining most brightly. Who Jesus is revealed to be and what he’s about to do for us from this point on–that is why Jesus is the one who makes the Transfiguration the Best Picture you’ll see today.

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Published in: on February 25, 2017 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Transfiguration–and Exodus–of Our Lord” (Luke 9:28-36)

The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sunday, February 7, 2016

“The Transfiguration–and Exodus–of Our Lord” (Luke 9:28-36)

Today is the Transfiguration of Our Lord. This is the festival we celebrate every year on the last Sunday after the Epiphany. We have seen Christ’s glory as the incarnate Son of God being manifested throughout the Epiphany season, beginning with the visit of the wise men on Epiphany itself. At the Baptism of Our Lord, Christ’s messiahship was attested and affirmed by the Holy Spirit descending on him in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father coming from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Then we saw Jesus at the wedding at Cana, providing new wine, the best wine, for the new covenant he was establishing. In the Nazareth synagogue, Jesus read a prophecy of the Messiah to come and declared, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” And in his ministry we have seen Jesus doing just that–proclaiming good news, setting at liberty those who are oppressed.

Now today the Epiphany season reaches its climax. It is the Transfiguration of Our Lord, that momentous occasion when Jesus was manifested in his glory as God’s Son before his disciples Peter, James, and John. Moses and Elijah show up, to make clear that Jesus is the one they were pointing ahead to. And once again the voice of the Father comes, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” Truly a mountaintop experience!

But today I want you to notice that this is not only about the transfiguration of our Lord, it is also about his exodus. Don’t worry, I’ll explain. And we’ll also see how this all relates to us. And so our theme this morning: “The Transfiguration–and Exodus–of Our Lord.”

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Published in: on February 6, 2016 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Transfiguration: The Bridge between Epiphany and Lent” (Mark 9:2-9)

The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sunday, February 15, 2015

“The Transfiguration: The Bridge between Epiphany and Lent” (Mark 9:2-9)

Today is the Festival of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, remembering that day when our Lord Jesus Christ was transfigured, that is, his appearance was changed, up on a mountain. This was a key event in our Lord’s life, and it marked a turning point, a pivot point, in his ministry. So, likewise, does this festival mark a turning point, a pivot point, in the church year calendar. Transfiguration comes at the end of the Epiphany season, just a few days before the beginning of Lent. The church year mirrors the gospel narrative.

And so today, what I want to say to you is that this Feast of the Transfiguration serves as “The Bridge between Epiphany and Lent,” and perfectly so. You will see how the placement of the Transfiguration event in the context of the gospel narrative, as its pivot point–and therefore also the placement of this Transfiguration festival, in the context of the church year, as the bridge between Epiphany and Lent–how all of this works for you, to strengthen your faith in the Christ who is transfigured.

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Published in: on February 15, 2015 at 2:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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