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February 6, 2005 – Transfiguration Sunday/

                                                  Last Sunday after Epiphany

                                                  RC: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

        Revised Common Lectionary Readings

        Exodus 24:12-18

        Psalm 2 or Psalm 99

        2 Peter 1:16-21

        Matthew 17:1-9

       

Up the High Mountain

*Call to Worship

There is a holy space,

high in the mountains of our soul,

swept clear by the winds of God’s breath,

light-filled with the sun of divine love,

so that we may see the Christ

and know ourselves.

Thanks be to God.

There is a place where wonder breaks through,

moving past the barriers of our theories,

standing free of our blurred views

to claim its ground

in the beauty of the holy mystery.

Thanks be to God,

transfigured in our sight.

 

*Prayer of Invocation        

May we come to you, this day, O Christ,

climbing the mountains of our resistance,

hanging onto the rocks of your love for us.

Carry us into the miracle of your being

on the plains of our life

and call us further toward you

than we have ever been before, we pray.

Amen.

*Prayer of Confession       

As we invite your gracious presence

among us, Jesus Christ,

we know full well how often we flee from you.

We have so many ways of avoiding

the encounter with you

by excuses and delays.

Sometimes we even use prayers

to blot out your voice,

sounding the words in our heads and hearts

while pushing you away

in case you tell us the truth

or ask more of us than we feel able to do.

Silent reflection.

Forgive us, loving Jesus.

Take our hands and lead us

toward your grace.

If we refuse to come away with you,

we stay among the crowds of life

so that your voice is dimmed

and our lives are clouded

with a fog of activity.

Forgive us, loving Jesus.

Take our hands and lead us

toward your grace.

We rush on ahead of you,

refusing to wait to listen to your word for us,

making our own plans with little reflection,

using the good we are doing

to justify our relentless activity.

Silent reflection.

Forgive us, loving Jesus.

Take our hands and lead us

toward your grace.

Remind us of your radiant life,

we pray. Amen.

 

 

*Words of Assurance       

Stay, stay alone in this moment

and encounter our God.

Remember the kindness that lies there.

Hold on to the mercy that waits for us.

We are forgiven.

Thanks be to God.

 

*Prayer of Thanksgiving   

We thank you, O God,

that there is always more to you

than we have yet seen,

always a new divine color to your life

that will show forth in its vividness

if we will pause to see it.

A silence is kept.

In the deeps of our bodies,

hearts, souls, and minds

there is a thankfulness for who you are, O God.

Our words can never describe you

and our thoughts can never hold you,

for you are beyond that.

Thanks be to you, O God. Amen.

*Stewardship Thought      

This story is about some of the disciples of Jesus being led up the high mountain by themselves. Although we usually focus on the transfiguration of Jesus in this passage, it may be important to recognize that sometimes God invites us “up a high mountain” by ourselves. This journey away from the distractions and busyness, away from excuses about things we need to do and into the quiet depths of the encounter with God alone can be life-changing for many of us. The strange thing is that often when we have had a profound experience of God and who we are in relation to God, when we stop and stay in the silences, we still resist intentionally doing it again. Some people do, of course, but probably most of us keep putting it off. The high mountains of our coming into the presence of God by ourselves is always life-changing.

*Offertory Sentence                           

Let us walk toward the mountain tops of life

as we bring our grateful thanks to God in our offering.

*Offertory Prayer                                

O God, the mystery of your being

is never separated from the earthly obligations that you give to us

to share what we have with others.

Receive our offerings this day. Amen.

*Prayer of Intercession      

Call our lives into the heights and depths

of your life, O God.

Dazzle our souls with your dreaming

and enlarge our view

of your dream for humankind

as we see it through your eyes

from the mountaintop.

Silent reflection.

Separate our quick reactions

as we try to please you

from the wider wisdom

of your insights into our life.

Give us the courage

to pray our humble human prayers

as we realize a little

of the measure of your holiness.

The people pray.

Hold us into your divine silences, O God,

as we listen to your responses to our prayers.

Stay with us on the mountain

as we grapple with our fears and doubts.

Reach out and wait with us

when we grow impatient,

and show us the way

of justice for all.

Above all, give us faith,

that we may more truly follow you

wherever you call us to go.

For you are our God

and we would be your people. Amen.

*Commissioning                                 

Stay on the sacred ground of God

wherever it is found;

then go in faith to follow Christ.

*Benediction                                       

May the Christ

be glimpsed clothed in light on the way;

God, our loving parent

show us a face of gentleness;

and the Holy Spirit enrich our life with wisdom.

Amen.

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