Thursday, February 12, 2015

Worship Notes for Transfiguration Sunday, 2015

Thursday after Epiphany 5
February 12, 2015

Blessed Epiphany season

Once again we will have one of those Sundays with multiple names. On our calendars February 15 is the Commemoration of Philemon and Onesimus. Paul wrote a letter to Philemon concerning his runaway slave, Onesimus, advocating on his behalf. The letter apparently achieved its purpose as the first century saint, Ignatius of Antioch, tells us that Onesimus became the bishop of Ephesus. We will remember these saints in our prayers, in part by remembering in our prayers those who continue in slavery to this very day. This coming Sunday will be celebrated as the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany in Roman Catholic churches and a few liturgical protestant churches. For us, and for the majority of liturgical protestant churches, we celebrate the Last Sunday after the Epiphany as Transfiguration Sunday. (Roman Catholics recognize August 6 as the Feast of the Transfiguration. The date was chosen in celebration of a military victory over the Ottoman Turks. Others transfer it to the some Sunday in August.) It was actually Lutherans who first celebrated this feast on the Last Sunday of Epiphany.

For our liturgy this coming Sunday we will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260). We use the appointed Psalm for this service, which will be Psalm 50:1-6. The antiphon will be verse 2. The appointed lessons are: 2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6 and Mark 9:2-9. The text for the sermon will be Mark 9:7 and the sermon will be titled “Son of God, Always.”

Our opening hymn will be “The People That in Darkness Sat” (LSB 412). Our sermon hymn will be “Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory” (LSB 416). Our closing hymn will be “‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here” (LSB 414).

Below is a video from the Lutheran Warbler singing our sermon hymn, “Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory.” I think the tune is quite catchy.

Be sure to read the additional notes at the end of this post as there are some important ones.

What follows is a synopsis of the OT, Epistle and Gospel lessons, provided by the synod. What then follows are the readings themselves, including the Psalm. By the way, the Psalm is not included in the synopsis, I assume, because many of our congregations always use the Introit instead of the Psalm.

The Face of Jesus Christ Manifests the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God

It was a hard thing that Elisha asked, but by his persistence he was able to see the Prophet Elijah being taken by a whirlwind into heaven.” Although chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them,” Elisha received Elijah’s cloak and a double portion of his spirit for preaching the Lord’s Word (2 Kings 2:9–11). It was a hard thing, too, for Israel to see Moses and come near to him, when the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God (Ex. 34:29–30). Therefore, after he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai,” Moses put a veil over his face (Ex. 34:32–33). Only the Word of the Gospel lifts the veil, and only through Christ is it taken away (2 Cor. 3:14). Thus are we able to behold the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, who is the image of God (2 Cor. 4:4–6). For the Law and the prophets are all fulfilled in Him. Therefore, listen to him,” and fix your sights on Jesus only (Mark 9:7–8).

Psalm 50:1-6 (2)
50:1        The Mighty One, God the Lord,
                        speaks and summons the earth
                        from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2           Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
                        God shines forth.

3           Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
                        before him is a devouring fire,
                        around him a mighty tempest.
4           He calls to the heavens above
                        and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5           “Gather to me my faithful ones,
                        who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6           The heavens declare his righteousness,
                        for God himself is judge! Selah

2 Kings 2:1-12
2:1         Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4           Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6           Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
9           When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
            Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6
12          Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
4:1         Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In 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. 5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Mark 9:2-9
2           And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
9           And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Some Additional Notes

  • We will have a Voters’ Meeting following the worship service. Aside from reports, the voters will consider establishing a policy concerning marriage practices at Lamb of God. Copies of the proposal have been placed in your boxes in the narthex. It would be very helpful if you have any suggested modifications to e-mail it to our elders (Jim Kimsey and Wayne Mabb) and Pastor.

  • LitWits meets Sunday at 6:30 pm. The book under discussion will be “The Book Theif.”

  • Our Stations of the Cross will be posted in our yard this Saturday.

  • Information for our March newsletter will be due Sunday.

  • Ash Wednesday is this coming Wednesday. Our worship service will be preceded by a community supper, which begins at 6:15 pm. When you arrive at church Sunday, you will notice a beautiful new banner in the front of the church inviting the community. We Still Need People to Sing Up to Bring Soup. The theme for the homilies this “Lent is The Hymns of Lent.” We will be looking at the teaching in some well known Lenten hymns. The first one, which will probably be sung by over 90% of our LC-MS congregations on Ash Wednesday, is “O Lord, throughout These Forty Days” (LSB 418).

  • Our seasonal Choir will have its first practice following our Ash Wednesday worship service. New singers are always welcome.

  • Remember that Pastor Rickert will be the guest Bible study leader and preacher on the HIS Time program, aired on KFUO Ash Wednesday. KFUO is the Synod’s radio station and, even though they broadcast in St. Louis, MO, can be heard on the internet. Simply click on the link on the left hand side of this page. The program begins at 9:05 am.

  • Remember, we have pledged to pray for our neighbors. You can get a list of your 100 your closest neighbors from If you have no internet access, speak with Rachel Swain or Kitty Rickert and they will sign you up and get you a list.

  • You can read the February newsletter by clicking on the newsletter page on this blog. All print copies have already been scooped up.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Rickert

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