Sunday, February 23, 2020: Transfiguration Sunday, Last Sunday before Lent

This Week’s Theme
The Transfiguration of Christ
Matthew 17.1-9

On the occasion of our Lord’s glorious manifestation, Jesus took with himself Peter and James, and John his brother, leading them up a high mountain by themselves. While there together, the Lord was transfigured before them – his face shining like the sun, and his clothes becoming white as light. Accompanying Jesus there were Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Overwhelmed by the entire experience, Peter requested to erect three tents – one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah – there, on the mount.

While Peter was yet speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Hearing this voice, the disciples fell on their faces with fear. Jesus, however, came, touched them, and told them to rise without fear. The disciples lifted their eyes up, and saw only Jesus, and no one else. On descending from the mount, Jesus commanded them to tell no one of this incident until he had risen from the dead. In this remarkable encounter, Jesus gave his disciples a glimpse of his true glory and majesty. The Lord revealed the glory of the eternal Son of God in this moment on the mount: Jesus of Nazareth is the beloved Son of the Father, with whom he is well pleased. In all things, let us listen to him.

Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten
Son hast confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of the fathers and who, in the voice that came from the bright cloud, didst in a wonderful manner foreshow the adoption of sons, mercifully vouchsafe to make us coheirs with the King of His glory, and bring us to the enjoyment of the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

~ The Common Service Book (Lindemann, p. 184-185)

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus 

You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day

Sunday: Josh. 12-14

Lectionary Readings

Psalm: Ps. 2

OT: Exod. 24.12-18

Gospel: Matt. 17.1-9


NT: 2 Pet. 1.16-21

(Click here for all readings)

Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Departing to Serve
Benediction 

O God, who on the holy mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thy well-beloved Son wonderfully transfigured: Mercifully grant unto us such a vision of his divine Majesty that we, being purified and strengthened by thy grace, may be transformed into his likeness from glory to glory; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Rev. William R. Huntington, 1892 (Suter, p. 57)

Affirmation for the Day
Shine, Jesus, shine among us, and reveal to us your glory as you really are.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Reveal to us, O living Christ, your glory as we see you as you truly are.

For Your Weekly Journey

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Salt and Light, Matthew 5.21-37

Book Reading
Packer, Knowing God

Special Church Year Service
Ash Wednesday: Wednesday, February 26, 2020