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2022.02.27 - Am I Glowing Yet?

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Am I Glowing Yet?

Exodus 34:28-35Luke 9:28-36
Transfiguration Sunday – Jesus takes some friends up the mountain and his face is changed! He encounters Moses and Elijah … God speaks and Jesus is ‘transfigured’ (changed face - compare to DISfigured)
In our Exodus passage, we see Moses encounter Yahweh on the mountain, and his face is changed, too. He glows!
It’s easy for us to dismiss Jesus being transfigured. “Well, that’s Jesus … and I am NO JESUS!” So this can easily become “a nice story about someone elsethat has no impact on me.
But Moses defies that dismissal. Moses is a normal man … a regular Joe.
Moses was...
born to a poor woman
raised as a royal (perhaps the only really remarkable part … but Moses rejected his royalty and became a commoner)
ran away from trouble
hid in the wilderness
shrank from his calling
He made every excuse possible to NOT do what God told him to do … MOSES WAS YOU AND ME!
In today’s passage, Moses had an encounter with God. When he came back down the mountain, the people didn’t even recognize him because he was glowing! It looked like Moses had taken a tour of Fukushima or Three Mile Island.
So, even for a regular dude — an encounter with God changes us! Transfiguration Sunday is only partially about Jesus being transfigured. It’s also about God’s encounter with any human … He has an impact!
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Lent begins this week. Transfiguration Sunday is always the Sunday before Lent, and I think that’s because they’re connected.
Jesus is changed because it shows that You and I can be changed - WE MATTER - YOU MATTER
We are transformed so that we can be partners in God’s transformation. We must realize and respond to the Truth that “ALL OTHER PEOPLE MATTER” too
This is important because Temple is the last best hope for Terre Haute to discover God. Don’t dismiss that statement like I’m over-exaggerating .
YOU are some people’s last best hope to discover God’s grace and mercy!
I firmly believe those statements stand as a statement of God’s rebuke to us. They are a rebuke to me as an individual and to us as a church.
We’ve forgotten that we matter to God. We’ve thought it more important that we matter to ourselves or that the community should respect us more as The Church!
But the All powerful God of the universe … WE MATTER TO HIM! What else is more important than that?
We’ve also forgotten that ALL other people matter to God. We assign value to individuals based on our own scale. Well … sure “those people” matter, but surely they don’t matter as much as the Mayor, or Council members or me! Yeah … actually they do.
And we’ve failed to recognize that Terre Haute is doomed for an eternity separated from God if we don’t act!
The last several weeks have been building to this! How have you responded? Have you been changed? Have we been transformed … transfigured?
At this point, I’d like to ask for a few testimonies. But, please pay close attention to the category I ask for. I’m asking for specific testimonies for a reason.
First, who would be willing to tell us about the person who first showed them the love of Christ?
[take testimonies]
Now, who would be willing to tell us how have you told other people about the love of Christ — in the last month?
[leave time — pause if none]
Friends, it’s time to drop our excuses and pick up the calling again.
We are called to be God’s people … doing God’s work.
His redemptive work is awaiting our availability, and when we realize that
we matter
other people matter
and we are the collective hope of the world around us to find the Lord…
that reality should transfigure us. We should LOOK different to the people around us. We should be living as transfigured people, serving a transfigured Christ, within a transfigured church.
So as a part of our preparation for Lent, let me ask: “Are we picking up the calling that comes with God’s blessing?”
We regularly receive the grace of the living God with the purpose that we can share it with the rest of the world!
I’m not glowing yet. Are you?
Let’s begin our prayer today with a period of silent confession.
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