When the sound of the voice died away, they saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen.
Luke 9:36 (Message)
Help us Father God when we can’t make sense of what is happening around us to have the confidence that you have the long view and that your plan is for victory over all evil through Jesus.
We welcome our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Keith and Myra
Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given in memory of Stella Jones
Organist: Barbara Hinsley
Sunday 14th February
11.00am Mr Phil Edwards
Vestry Stewards – Ian and Sheila
Door Steward – Val
Tea Hosts – Val and Betti
Mon 8th Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Wed 10th Pastoral Leaders meeting 9.30am in the Lounge
Wed 10th Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Wed 10th Bible Fellowship at Avril William’s home 7.30pm
Thu 11th Church Council Meeting 7.30pm in the Lounge
Thu 18th John & Angie Evans Concert here 7.30pm £5
Tue 23rd Cytun Lent Study at Hope Parish Church Hall 7.30pm
Wed 24th “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship at Hope Parish Church 7.30pm (4th Wed in the month)
Please pray for the following:
Pete and Ruby Kasprowicz
All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.
We look forward to the the service on Sun 28th Feb when Rev Richard Sharples will welcome John Evans and June Jones into the membership of our church.
The Transfiguration: God Has the Long View
I know it is a well-worn theme this one of Peter’s yearning to stay put on that mountaintop in the presence of Jesus and Moses and Elijah. Perhaps the fact that it has captured so many before is why I find myself settling there once again. For you see, it seems to me that the pieces all fall into place in those remarkable moments when the past, present and future meet in the persons of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. For at least a moment, I imagine, it all makes sense in a way it surely does not nearly often enough.
And oh, I have to believe that the desire to ‘make sense’ of things is universal — at least among those who have the luxury to think beyond surviving the next day. Who among us does not occasionally ask ‘why?’ Indeed, who among us doesn’t sometimes come up short when we seek to understand life’s meaning and purpose, especially as we live with the occasional, if not necessarily constant, experience of suffering and injustice and seeming scarcity.
It is a universal quest, this trying to make sense of it all. As the disciples on that mountaintop did so long ago. And as, no doubt, they also did the day before and the day after that memorable vision was experienced.
Indeed, a few months back, last week, and probably again tomorrow, I found myself or I will find myself shaking my head and giving thanks that God has the long view, because I certainly do not. Most of the time I am hard pressed to understand, much less find words for the reasons behind much of life’s struggle and suffering. Oh, it is so that sometimes when a life has been long and well lived, I can take some comfort in the ‘natural order of things.’ Far too often, though, this is not the case. And then, truly, I just don’t get it. Which is, I expect, exactly why Peter wanted to hang on to that remarkable moment of clarity when it all made sense. For it must have seemed then that God had a plan, and a good one at that — and yes, one where victory would be won where it should, for once. With Jesus.
Only of course, the scene before us now also doesn’t necessarily answer our most profound questions. We don’t, for instance, hear why terrible things happen at all.
Instead, what we receive is an image or experience of a kind of belonging in Jesus’ connection to or fulfilment of all that has, all who have, gone before.
And it offers this remarkable promise received in blinding light that in the end, God is in charge.
And with that we can surely be confident that despite a whole lot of evidence between now and then to the contrary, Jesus will not be defeated.
So all of this is to say that while all the pieces surely fell into place for Peter (and James and John, too) on that mountaintop so long ago, they and we might be hard pressed to find words for it. (Perhaps this is the reason they kept silent in its wake.) Oh, maybe it is so that for all the truth that the past, present and future are in that instant crystal clear, perhaps we are still only left with what I have relied on for so long: this confidence that God has the long view when I do not. And maybe that is all we actually need as we move off that mountain with Jesus and are met by a whole crowd of folks with all their human hurts and hopes and foibles. Perhaps the promise in that shining image of Jesus on the mountain alone gives us what we need for what comes next, whatever it is.
Rev Dr Janet H Hunt, First Lutheran, DeKalb, Illinois, USA