Sunday Service (9:30am): The Transfiguration of Jesus
The service begins with a shout of joy and recognition (How lovely shines the morning star!). When we see Jesus as he truly is, we understand that our life is found in him. The call to worship speaks boldly of the power of God to command the world and establish Jesus as king over it--this is the God we service, and this is the king who died for us. In the hymn of response, we see that Christ's transfiguration is a foretaste of the glory we will see in his resurrection and ascension, and in his second coming, when all will see him coming with the clouds (Christ, whose glory fills the skies).
In the call to confession, we boldly ask that the Lord will shine his face on us, even though he has rightly been angry with the sins of his people. Because of Jesus, the glory of the Lord, which could have destroyed us, is instead our refuge. In the assurance, we are reminded of this, that in forgiving our sins through Jesus, the light that shines in our darkness no longer reveals and condemns us, but brings us out of darkness into the path of peace. Our song of response is one of thanksgiving to this all-powerful God who has not only created us, but leads us forward into light (Let all things now living). The song references the Israelites being led by a pillar of fire--another sign of God's glory shining forth and leading his people.
In the affirmation of faith, we affirm our belief in the three persons of the Trinity, in Jesus' full humanity and full divinity, his work of redemption and his kingship over the whole world. It is followed by a doxology of praise to the Trinity.
In the lectionary readings, we see the glory of God revealed to the people of Israel and Moses, we see Jesus' glory revealed in the transfiguration, and we are reminded by Peter that this glory is not man-made but revealed from God--and that the words of prophecy and Scripture are from God, not the people writing them. In our hymn of response, Jesus calls us to look to him and his light will brighten and change the direction of our lives (I heard the voice of Jesus say).
During communion, we sing of a love that has transformed our lives and eternity by his sacrifice (Here is love). The final hymn responds to the words of the sermon text which call us to suffer and wait in patience and steadfast hope for the day of the Lord (Be still, my soul). We look to Jesus (your best, your heavenly Friend) who will make "all now mysterious bright at last." In the benediction, we receive the promise that God will indeed shine his face upon us.