Transfiguration of Our Lord (March 3rd)

Pastor's Summary of Luke 9:28-36

Jesus has predicted his suffering, death and resurrection to his disciples; he has called on them to "take up their cross" (v. 23), has warned that those who hear the gospel but fail to trust in it will be condemned, and has promised that some present will see the kingdom of god. Now he and the inner circle of disciples ascend "the mountain" (v. 28). In Luke Jesus always prays before an important event.

An aura of unnatural brightness is linked with mystical appearances in Exodus and Acts; "dazzling white" (v. 29) is a symbol of transcendence. In Jewish tradition, both Moses and Elijah (v. 30) were taken into heaven without dying. Jesus' agenda is in accord with the Law and the prophets; he is doing God's will. "Two men also appear at the resurrection and at the ascension. Jesus "departure" (v. 31) exodos in Greek) is his journey to Jerusalem and his passage from this world. Peter clearly doesn't understand; perhaps he thinks he is witnessing a super Feast of Tabernacles, v. 33)-a time when the whole city was brightly illuminated. The "cloud" (v. 34) is a symbol of God's presence; the words from it recall Jesus' baptism, and add "listen to him!" (v.35). Vv. 37-43a, the healing of an epileptic child, present three contrasts (1) from the mountain to the needy world; (2) Jesus' great power over evil; and (3) Jesus' fidelity to God vs. general human infidelity. The child is in miserable condition. In healing him, Jesus shows God's "greatness" to "all". (v. 43).

NOTE: The Imposition of the Ashes will be conducted at the close of this service for those who desire the ashes. Due to conflicts we decided to move this service up from this Wednesday to Sunday this year.