February 10, 2012

Transfiguration Sunday

2013 Update - New Song Links
In the liturgical calendar of the Christian Church, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday is known as Transfiguration Sunday.  Falling between Christmas and Lent, the season of Epiphany focuses on the events of Jesus’ ministry and culminates in celebrating the Transfiguration, where Jesus’ divine glory was manifested to Peter, James, and John, marking the transition in Jesus’ life toward Jerusalem and the events of Holy Week.  This is an important Sunday as it gives worshipers the opportunity to behold Jesus’ glory before setting foot to the road of Lent and moving toward the cross and empty tomb.

Thematic reflection
Recorded in each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matt 17, Mark 9, Luke 9), the Transfiguration is where God revealed his glory in Jesus Christ upon a mountaintop, likely Mount Hermon.  God revealed his glory to Moses on Mount Sinai; Moses’ face continued to radiate God’s glory when he returned to the people at the foot of the mountain (Exod 24).  The Gospel texts intentionally connect Jesus’ actions with Moses’ when ascending the mountain, the main difference being that Moses merely reflects God’s glory while God’s glory pours out from Jesus.  Present with Christ at the Transfiguration were Moses and Elijah, men whose roles pointed toward their fulfillment in Christ.  The disciples also hear the voice of God, confirming that Jesus is God’s Son and that they should listen to him (Mark 9:7).  By appearing in his full divine glory, Jesus is identified as greater than Moses and Elijah and is confirmed to be the eternal Son of God.

Just as with observing Jesus’ Baptism at the start of Epiphany, it is important to ask how the Transfiguration is an important moment in Jesus’ life.  This is the penultimate revelation of Jesus’ divine nature that is celebrated in the liturgical calendar before the celebration of the Resurrection at Easter (the others being Christmas, Epiphany, and Baptism of our Lord).  It is also the fullest revelation of his pre-resurrection glory, the very same glory on display as the presently ascended Christ and that will be displayed when he returns.  To celebrate the Transfiguration is to worship Jesus in his full divine splendor.

What characterizes worship on this day when compared to other Sundays?
God’s glory is the primary focus of worship on this day, both how it was revealed in the Old and New Testament and also in how he displays it today in the church and in the world.  Part of observing Transfiguration Sunday is that worshipers today are remembering what the disciples witnessed with their own eyes as if we were present in the same way.  Responses to seeing God’s glory include awe, fear, and shame, so public worship should give voice to these responses.

Much of regular public worship has ties to the Transfiguration; while beholding God’s glory in the worship gathering, a similar mountaintop experience is evoked as the cares of daily living are seemingly left at the door.  But if this is the only result, then public worship fails.  Instead, beholding God’s glory should welcome the struggles of daily living and allow opportunities to bring all things under the love and care of God.

Another aspect to balance is the pivot from Epiphany to Lent, whether observed mid-week at Ash Wednesday or on the following Sunday.  Worshipers are celebrating the glory of Jesus with an eye toward his death and resurrection.  Lament over the sufferings Jesus endured on our behalf is proper but should result in joy and thanksgiving rather than wallowing in sorrow or self-pity.

In his song simply titled “The Transfiguration,” singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens reflects the attitude of worship at the Transfiguration:
Lost in the cloud, a voice: Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Turn your ear! 
Lost in the cloud, a voice: Lamb of God! We draw near! 
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Son of God!

Designing Worship
Below are provided a handful of resources to aid worship planners in designing worship that reflects the concerns of the Transfiguration.  For prayer texts, I recommend consulting the Book of Common Prayer, the Book of Common Worship, the Revised Common Lectionary, and the Worship Sourcebook.

Relevant Scripture passages that may be used for different liturgical readings (1):
  • Gospel Accounts
    • Matthew 17:1-9 (A)
    • Mark 9:2-9 (B)
    • Luke 9:28-36(37-43) (C)
  • Related texts 
    • Exodus 24:12-18 (A)
    • Exodus 34:29-35 (C)
    • 1 Kings 19:1-18 (WS)
    • 2 Kings 2:1-12 (B)
    • Psalm 2 (A)
    • Psalm 50:1-6 (B)
    • Psalm 99 (A/C)
    • John 1:14
    • 2 Corinthians 3:12–4:2 (C)
    • 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (B)
    • Hebrews 1:3
    • 2 Peter 1:16-21 (A)
    • 1 John 3:2 (WS)
(1) The primary sources for these texts are the Revised Common Lectionary (readings identified by year (A), (B), or (C)) and the Worship Sourcebook (WS).

Song suggestions that emphasize the themes of the Transfiguration:
  • Service Music
  • Hymns
    • *Christ Whose Glory Fills The Skies Cardiphonia post
    • *Hail To The Lord’s Anointed
    • All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name
    • Be Thou My Vision (C) - Matt 17:8
    • Come Thou Almighty King - John 1:14
    • Fairest Lord Jesus (B)
    • Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken
    • Holy Holy Holy - Ps 99:3
    • How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds - 1 John 3:2
    • Jesus I Am Resting - 2 Cor 3:15-18
      • David Hampton mp3
    • Jesus Is Lord – Getty/Townend
    • Love Divine All Loves Excelling - 2 Cor 3:18
      • TH 529 BEECHER
      • Melody for "Here Is Love" leadsheet
    • O Worship The King
    • Out Of My Bondage (Jesus I Come) - 1 John 3:2
    • The Lord Is King
  • Choruses
    • *Shine, Jesus, Shine – Graham Kendrick
    • Beautiful Savior - Townend (2 Peter 1:19)
    • Better Is One Day - M Redman
    • God Of Wonders - Byrd/Hindalong
    • Great Is The Lord - MW Smith & D Smith
    • Holy Is The Lord - Tomlin
    • How Great Is Our God - Tomlin
    • Jesus Name Above All Names (John 1:14)
    • Majesty - Hayford (2 Peter 1:17, Ps 99:9)
    • Meekness and Majesty - Kendrick (2 Peter 1:16)
    • Open The Eyes Of My Heart - P Baloche (2 Cor 4:6)
    • We Fall Down - Tomlin
    • You Are Holy - Byrd/Hindalong
*Songs with explicit focus upon Transfiguration and Epiphany

Other art

Example Liturgy
  • Prelude (if you’re particularly daring) – “The Transfiguration” (Sufjan Stevens)
  • Song of Entrance/Gathering into presence – “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” (P Baloche)
  • Call To Worship – Psalm 99:1-3
  • Prayer of Invocation
  • Doxology or Gloria
  • Songs of Praise – “Christ Whose Glory Fills The Skies” 
  • Scripture Reading – Mark 9:2-9
  • Confession of Sin
  • Assurance of Pardon – 2 Cor 3:17-18
  • Song of Confidence – “Jesus Is Lord” (Stuart Townend/Keith Getty)
  • Sermon
  • Offering/Anthem – “Hail To The Lord’s Anointed” (Welcome Wagon)
  • Eucharist
  • Song of Communion – “Jesus I Am Resting” (David Hampton
  • Prayer of Intercession
  • Song of Sending – “The Lord Is King” (Nathan Partain)
  • Benediction – Num 6:24-26

2 comments:

Iand Mystory said...
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شركة مكافحة الحمام said...

اذا كنت تعانى عزيزى القارئ من مشكلة تجمع الحمام فى نوافذ منزلك وعلى الاسطح وعلى اسوار الحديقة فقط كل ما عليك هو الاتصال بشركة مكافحة الحمام -0509168319 لأننا شركة مكافحة الحمام بالدمام متخصصة فى مجال مكافحة الحمام
ووجود الحمام فى النوافذ يتسبب فى حدوث اضرار كثيرة بجانب الشكل الغير جميل للمكان نجد انها تخلف الريش وبعض من انواع البكتيريا التى تسبب تآكل المبانى الخرسانة حتى تصل الى الحديد المسلح الموجود فى الجدران ويآكل هو الاخر وينتج عن ذلك حلول اضرار جسيمة للمنزل , وليس هذا فقط بل واكثر من ذلك لأن الحمام يتسبب فى وجود الامراض لاصحاب المنزل .
لذلك تقوم شركة الرياض كلين للخدمات المنزلية بتركيب الطارد المعدنى المدبب ناحية الخارج والذى يمنع من وقوف الحمام على اسطح المنازل والنوافذ ويطرده بعيداً نهائياً .
ونضع الطارد المعدنى الوطنى المصنوع من المعدن الخالص الذى يتحمل التغيرات الجوية فلا يصدأ .

ولا يقتصر عملنا على مكافحة الحمام فثقط بل نحن شركة متخصصة فى العديد من الخدمات مثل
• مكافحة جميع انواع الحشرات .
• تنظيف فلل وبيوت وقصور .
• تنظيف جميع انواع المكيفات .
• تنظيف الكنب والمجالس .
• تنظيف السجاد والموكيت .
• تنظيف الستائر والاقمشة .
• نقل العفش مع الفك والتركيب والتغليف والتخزين .
• تسليك المجارى .
• شفط بيارات المياه .
• تنظيف وعزل خزانات المياه .
• رش مبيدات .
• رش دفان .