Summary: Sermon for Transfiguration Sunday, Year C 2013
Luke 9: 28 – 36 Good For Us To Be Here
Intro: Back in the 80’s there was a toy that was really popular with boys and girls alike. Transformers. They were the most fascinating toys, even for adults. In 2007 the first of the Transformer movies was released. In 2009 another, Trnasformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released. In 2011 yet another in the series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon was released. I understand there is a 4th moving planned for release on June 27, 2014. I have to admit I have not seen any of the movies. Trying to transform the toys was scary enough for me.
I. Today is not only Boy Scout Sunday, it is also Transfiguration Sunday. It marks the transition from the season of Epiphany and to the season of Lent which begins officially on Ash Wednesday.
A. VSS. 29 – 30 Imagine the scene. Jesus was praying on a mountaintop. Suddenly, Jesus changes: face changed / clothes shone. He was transformed. Some would say that this proves Jesus was an alien from outer space. NOT ME!
B. The transfiguration or transformation of Jesus is very reminiscent of the story in the OT about Moses when he came down from Mt. Horeb or Mt. Sinai after talking with God. His face shone so brightly he had to cover it to keep from frightening the people.
C. When you manipulate one of the toy transformers, its basic shape changes; but, it is still plastic and parts of it are still recognized. The same was true of Jesus. He was still the same; but, somehow different.
II. VSS. 33 – Peter sees this “changed,” transformed or transfigured Jesus and wants this experience to last for awhile.
A. Peter knew it was good to be there. Perhaps he felt that if they stayed long enough he would be “changed” as well.
B. We can all aspire to be transformed or changed by God. Isn’t that one of the primary reasons we come to Church? We come to open ourselves up to the changing power of God.
C. Christ Jesus calls us to be transformed by the power of his love and the presence of the Holy Spirit not just for one hour on Sunday; but, also at home, with friends, with family and with one another at work or in our neighborhood, and in all our interactions with other people.
III. In order for us to be transfigured, transformed or changed, we must listen. VS. 35 – “A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
A. I’m going to ask a serried of questions. Feel free to call out the answers: A tree that has acorns is called an _________. (oak) If you have no money you are ______. (broke) A funny story told by a comedian is a ________. (joke) The cloud that rises from a fire is ________. (smoke) The style of music sun by Peter, Paul & Mary was _______. (folk) The sound made by a frog is _____. (croak) The white of an egg is called the ______ (white / not yolk). If you answered yolk, you were not listening.
B. A rather obscure meaningful definition of sin in the bible comes from a Hebrew word that means “ a failure to listen”. When we fail to listen to someone, we cut ourselves off from them.
C. Sin is defined as anything that separates us from God. So, when we fail to listen to God, we cut ourselves off from Him and that is sin. We must learn how to listen like Jesus did.
Conclu: Lent is a time in the church year where we are encouraged to put on the brakes, to slow down and focus more on our relationship with Christ by listening to His word. Has Jesus been transformed for you? Is he a lifeless character in a book called the Bible? Or, has he become your personal friend, intimate savior, Lord of your life? That can only happen when you listen intently to God’s word and let it transform you into the person God wants you to be.