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Into the Light Sunday 15th February,2015

sunday 15thLismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert

Sun 15th Feb 2015 8.30am Combined Parish Service Lismore

Into the Light    Mark 9: 2-9

 

Have you had times on the mount? Precious moments when you thought you would burst with joy – perhaps in the company of other believers, where God’s Spirit washed over and through you in a way that left you in no doubt who is really in charge?

Perhaps it was a moment of profound insight, or a passionate response to that favourite hymn or praise song. Whatever that moment held remained with you long afterward, and you wished it would never end.

We can feel like we could talk and live like angels if only we might stay there on that mount in the very presence of God – just like Peter, James and John.

But God never allows such indulgence; there is always more to do in the kingdom. As wonderful as it is to be on the mount with God, the true test of our spiritual life is the power to descend and be amongst the ordinary stuff and tough things of life, and there, lift others up.

In attempting to ‘freeze frame’ and cling to such precious moments we are denying ourselves the possibilities presented in the moments that follow. We become fearful that such special moments may never come again, so we cling tightly to them.

God gives us occasional special moments on the mount to encourage and inspire us to trust, not fear. There is no room for fear in the kingdom life. As we learn to trust and faithfully follow Jesus, we can be sure he will be with us, no matter what. Such was his promise:

“I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.” [Matt 28:20 GNB]

 

Old Testament: 2 Kings 2: 1-12

 

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4: 3-12

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

 

Gospel: Mark 9: 2-9  The Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.