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It’s the last Sunday before Lent. And both the Narrative and the Revised Common Lectionary readings focus on the Transfiguration. The NL post from earlier in the week can be found here. And the RCL post can be found here.

Are you with Jesus on the mountain top this week, or anxiously waiting further down hill? Will you see his face glowing or are you just weary for a sign?

And, in preparation for Lent will you be burying the Alleluias or preparing ashes?

Please share how prepared you are – for worship this week or for Lent. Share your ideas and the direction of your preaching, let us know how we might help one another. The table is set – and you are welcome!

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Liz Crumlish is a Church of Scotland Minister currently working on a National Renewal Project in Scotland.  A Board Member of RevGalBlogPals, instigator of Spill the Beans and contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, Liz blogs at journalling

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RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

37 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher’s Party:Mountain top edition

  1. I am so lost right now….I had the idea to do a children’s sermon with transformers but I just googled “transfigure vs. transformation” and found this blog (https://entangledstates.org/2013/08/06/transfiguration-not-transformation/) which talks about how they have 2 different meanings and now I feel like I really have no clue where to go with the children’s sermon or with my full sermon…especially since I chose a hymn called “transform us” for after the sermon. I am also kind of inspired by the fact that Matthew is the only transfiguration story that talks about Jesus touching the Disciples and saying “Do not be afraid” – this is my “what” but I don’t have a “so what?” or a “now what?” for this. I have good stories about my experiences with “thin places” but again I have trouble seeing a connection to the stories other than being mountaintop experiences….

    I have a lot of partial ideas floating in my head but am just not getting the connections so if anyone has thoughts or suggestions or sees something I am missing that would be wonderful! Thankfully it is about 2 am on Saturday morning and not Sunday morning when I am having this freak out. And with that I am going to sleep on it and listen for the Spirit.

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    1. Ugh – not helpful at this stage of the week. I wonder if an attempt to explore the difference between Transfiguration and transformation will be helpful – it’s not exactly a commonly used word…but I’m not sure how far that takes us. I hope sleep has helped.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My choir is singing that “Transform Us.” I like Beth’s thinking about the difference and what it means for us, just below this.

      I find Transfiguration one of the hardest Sundays to preach. It’s hard to figure out how to apply it to life today. “If you’re ever up on a mountain with Jesus and he gets all shiny and starts talking to dead prophets, here’s what you should do…”?

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I am sorry I am late, here is an explanination of the greek for the word we use for “Tranfigurationtion”,

      μεταμορφομαι (“transfigured” or “metamophisized”; 17:2): The Latin “transfigured” is not as “cool”, imho, as the Greek “metamorphisized.” This word is fairly rare in the NT. It also occurs in Romans 12:2 (Do not let your minds be confirmed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your minds…) and 2 Corinthians 3:18, which reads something like “Shine, Jesus, Shine.” Transfigured sounds so churchy. Try “transformation” or “metamorphosed” as see what reaction you get. “Transformer Sunday”
      I looks like you would be spot on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok so clearly then what I read stating that transfiguration and transformation are different is not really true. This makes things so much more easier now and helps the children’s sermon fit with the larger picture! Thank you thank you thank you!

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  2. Good morning. I look forward to welcoming you to the party today. The kettle is on for hot tea, and I have lots of fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Pull up a chair and help yourself as we chew over the words of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i am off lectionary this week, did transfiguration last Sunday. transfig sermon is here and idea for a children’s talk, which i haven’t tried is here

    this Sunday we have a combined worship service, that is both Sunday morning congregations worship together. I am using a resource from ‘Dandelions and Thistles’ called “Follow me”, based on some readings fro m Mark’s gospel. Call to Discipleship

    then I am going on retreat for a few days, Sunday afternoon to midday Wednesday with some women in Ministry from my denomination. I am looking forward to the time with God and these wonderful women.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will gone all day for a diocesan “training” on diversity and inclusion. It’s an hour away, which makes the day even longer. And it comes on top of having spent yesterday in a Vestry retreat/orientation. My sermon for tomorrow is in solid draft form. I’m reusing the illustration from the sermon I preached 3 years ago which tells the story of wolves being reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and the “trophic cascade” that resulted. I’ll end the sermon by addressing our efforts at revitalization and the potential for one shift in action to cause a shift in the whole direction – our own trophic cascade…. Just like Jesus and his commandment to love God, love self (as in don’t denigrate yourself, have compassion and forgiveness of yourself), and love others, caused a change in the entire world and the history of humanity…..

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    1. Terri, glad you have a god draft to work with, I was talking about the wolves article just this week as there is discussion about re-introducing wolves to some areas in Scotland!
      I love the notion of our actions causing a trophic cascade.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Preaching the T-Fig text. This go round it has taken a more personal approach with an experience I had two weeks ago at an AME Founder’s Day celebration. Yesterday, I came across this article (sometime’s Carl’s posts make it into Textweek as well.) I picked up some nuggets from it as well.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlgregg/2011/02/lectionary-commentary-practicing-transfiguration-for-march-6-2011/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

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    1. Had to google AME Founder’s day… Thanks for linking the article about “doing transfiguration” that was a helpful bringing together of writing/reading I’ve seen elsewhere and putting it in the context of T-fig.

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  6. it seems Saturday is a constant round of work a bit, procrastinate a bit…

    Working on T-fig – somehow having it come round year on year can soften the impact – and it is feeling a bit ‘yada-yada’

    then I was just writing about the witnesses and came up with “Mr Impetuous and the Thunder Boys!!”

    I think what I am trying to say is something about God’s constancy and promise being for everyone – especially those who consider that they are not very special at all.
    But I don’t have anything much to add as yet…

    distracted by a pastoral issue that has come up that also needs to be dealt with

    and, just generally distracted…

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  7. Aaaahhhhh!!! Yes I have an outline and have done my background reading. But a daughter home for the weekend is sick, we had a fish die-off in the aquarium so it needs maintenance, and I’m down to my last clean underwear. Lord, keep me healthy, focused, and manage my time. I have 2-bite cinnamon rolls to offer and coffee to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m new here and I have had the flu all week. I focused on the mountaintop experiences in Matthew, and then on how Peter was changed by Tfig. How seeing Jesus as Son of God changes us. How that looks when we see the world through new eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Preparing the rectory today for a Marcia Gras celebration I am hosting for the congregation. This means lots of chopping for the jambalaya plus tasks I have been putting off since moving into this place in September! I will be looking at the “bookends” of light to Epiphany and at T’fig this year (again!) as a mystical, transformative experience for the three disciples but one they cannot stay in and preserve as they must go down the mountain. This time, I will put more weight on going down the mountain AND YET, never being the same–how that mystical moment of clarity makes all the difference. (Though not necessarily toward living “happily ever after.)

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    1. Thanks, Gloria – it’s the wanting to remain that is speaking to me this year – speaking of where I am… Hope the celebration goes well and that all your effort is appreciated.

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  10. I have a sustainable sermon that I’m revisiting. T-fig is not my favorite observation–I think it’s particularly hard to make relevant.

    In the meantime, having rejected my suggestions of things to do today, the children are predictably “bored.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This sustainable sermon has a great intro, a good middle, and then it stops. No conclusion. No “so what?” I just quit talking, apparently. Because I couldn’t figure out T-fig six years ago, either!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I posted last night, but i am not sure it posted properly

    i am off lectionary this week, did transfiguration last Sunday. http://apearldownunder.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/transformation.html
    and idea for a children’s talk, which i haven’t tried is http://aprilfiet.com/theology-culture/now-see-transfiguration-sunday-childrens-lesson

    this Sunday we have a combined worship service, that is both Sunday morning congregations worship together. I am using a resource from ‘Dandelions and Thistles’ called “Follow me”, based on some readings fro m Mark’s gospel. http://apearldownunder.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/the-call-to-discipleship.html

    then I am going on retreat for a few days, Sunday afternoon to midday Wednesday with some women in Ministry from my denomination. I am looking forward to the time with God and these wonderful women.

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  13. First I want to thank everyone who replied to my first comment for their ideas, and also for the other shares as they are all helping me organize my thoughts. I think I’m finally getting somewhere with this point:

    “Transfiguration leads to transformation, but we have to go down the mountain to get it/be transformed”

    Unfortunately, while my congregation likes a short sermon, one sentence is not enough and now I need to build around this. This is only my second Sunday with them so I am still working on building the relationship and I am debating if I should express my own confusion/struggle with the text or not. Not sure if that would “worry” them more or be a relief to be reminded we’re only human.

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    1. I’m focusing on “Listen to him!” for the sermon, and plan to do this with the kids: play a few rounds of the telephone game using silly sentences. Then, have the kids think about how the words of Jesus have been passed down through the years like a game of telephone, and we have to listen carefully to him to make sure we pass them along correctly. Jesus started it all saying “God loves you, and wants you to love one another,” and we need to make sure people hear the same from us, not “God loves me more than he loves you,” or “God only loves certain people, and not others.” I think it’ll work!

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Presbytery meeting today, almost two hours drive (each way)…now I’m home and have eaten dinner and need to think about what to do. I was planning to write a guided meditation for T-Fig, and that’s what the bulletin says, so I guess I should get on that. I have a vague idea for a beginning, but that’s about it.

    And I can’t put it off until morning because my house is being inspected for sale tomorrow morning, so I have to be up-and-at-em and relatively put together a little earlier than normal. #ha

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  15. This is a bridge Sunday for me, as we prepare to go off-lectionary during Lent to read Unbinding Your Heart together. The thrust of this book, and the preaching series that will go with it, is to become evangelists again. So this is the transformation/transfiguration Christ is calling us toward. It will be a stretch for most of our congregation. There will be some major pushback from a few. Nevertheless, the Spirit is calling us to persist.
    The first half of my sermon is adapted from Transfiguration three years ago. The second half is adapted from a sermon by Dawn Darwin Weaks, who has made her Unbinding sermons available to those who use Unbinding Your Heart with their congregations. Here’s the mash-up: https://pastorsings.com/2017/02/25/the-great-invitation-shine-sermon-on-matthew-171-8/

    For the children, we are going to ask the whole congregation to shout out life advice all at once, and point out how hard it is to make sense of all the noise, when we try to pay attention to people around us. But when we listen to Jesus, what he wants us to do can be heard clearly.
    We had a community breakfast today, with pancakes, eggs, sausage, … and cinnamon rolls! Biggest crowd ever, but there might still be a cinnamon roll for you if you stop by the virtual table. Blessings on your preaching, friends!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. One guided meditation: check.
    Read old T-fig prayers I’ve written in previous years, decided on some that are easily re-useable or adaptable on the fly: check.
    petted the kitties: check.
    Cleaned up the house for the inspection tomorrow: not check.
    🙂

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