The week is “Transfiguration of the Lord” Sunday, which we celebrate on the week before Lent begins. The mysterious happenings let us know that it’s time to start paying attention. Jesus and a handful of disciples head out on their own. Climbing high upon a mountain, the disciples watch as Jesus is transformed — shining as bright as the sun, his clothes a dazzling white. The next thing they know, Moses and Elijah are there chatting it up with Jesus. And it’s all over about as quickly as it started.
But we’re going to double back to the verses just before, when Jesus lays out for those closest to him what it means to truly be his follower. It is at the end of Matthew 16 that we get two challenging life lessons: (1) that if we want to be disciples, “we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow,” and (2) the soul stirring question, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
Our faith lives are seldom the razzle dazzle of the transfiguration. In fact, the glitter of the world’s temptations are often much more common. Join us Sunday as we celebrate both the holy mystery of Christ and wrestle with how to be faithful when the alternatives to discipleship are often more sparkly and immediately gratifying.
Scripture: Matthew 16:24-17:8
Sermon: “Fire on the Mountain”
If you wonder where the title for the sermon came from, check out this clip of the fiery Appalachian fiddle tune, “Fire on the Mountain.”
See you on Sunday,