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Always On Our Side

Listen to Him
Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20,22; 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9

Sermon Week Second Sunday of Lent Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 17:5

In the fairytale "The Hobbit," all hobbits live very dull, docile, dreary lives. They eat six meals a day, and they love their peace and quiet. The quieter it is, the better they like it. But, somehow, one of the hobbits, named Bilbo, embarks on an adventure that takes him on a long journey to places he has never seen before. He climbs mountains, makes his way through severe storms, encounters dwarves, evil goblins, wicked wolves, enchanted elves, a fire breathing dragon and a wise, old wizard. At first, Bilbo is terrified by it all. But soon he begins to hold his own and, by the end of the tale, he is a hero, which leads the old wizard to comment: "My dear Bilbo. You are not the hobbit that you were!"

In our Gospel Lesson today, the New Testament writer describes an awesome mountaintop experience with Jesus and three of the disciples. And by the end of the episode, the disciples are not people they once were:

... Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, his brother, and led them up a high mountain ... And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light ... lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My Son, the Beloved; He enjoys My favour. Listen to Him."

In the Transfiguration Event, God's Presence in Jesus Christ shone through to the disciples so intensely they found themselves in the presence of another world, where there is no mistaking the voice of God: "This is My Son, the Beloved ... Listen to Him!" And "when they heard this, the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear" (Mt. 17:6).

To the disciples who witnessed it, the Transfiguration Event was awesome -- so remarkable in fact that they didn't want to leave when it was over. They had seen the glory of God shining through the Body of Christ.

Of course, they wanted to stay on the mountaintop to reflect and meditate on the [...]

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