The transfiguration

The TRANSFIGURATION  Matthew 17:1-2  is mentioned in all 3 synoptic gospels
Where is it in the Gospel ?
1.Back cloth
· who do you say I am ? Peter declares Jesus as the Messiah
· Jesus speaks about his suffering, his death and resurrection
· Peter tries to stand in the way of God's plan and is rebuked by Jesus “ your thoughts don't come from God but man -if anyone wants to come with me he must forget self. Carry his cross and follow me.”
· Whoever wants to save is own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.
· After the transfiguration group Jesus is faced by an unbelieving group- who want to use his healing powers but weren't worried about letting God into their lives. Jesus challenges this
 2.Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death and resurrection
 3.The transfiguration provides a foretaste of heaven
 4.The transfiguration is witnessed by figures from Heaven and earth thus ratifying the divinity of Jesus
 · Jesus takes his 3 closest disciples:Peter and the brothers -James and John (Peter- gets it wrong often but Jesus uses the frail and weak-you are Peter and on this rock will I build my church)
· Where to? A high mountain -like many other holiest of holy encounters it takes place on top of a mountain where they were alone
· The disciples see Jesus bathed in glory- they try to describe it -key message bright, dazzling light too bright Cloud covers them before God speaks
· In this encounter they meet Moses representing the Law and Elijah the prophets.
· Moses is himself given the 10 commandments on top of a high mountain and when he returned to the people he shone so brightly they had to shield themselves from the light
· Elijah has many encounters with God, learns to listen to him, often on mountain-tops- experiences a people that rejects his message time and time again- Elijah is himself swept into heaven
· Peter is described as speaking but really overwhelmed: he knows it is a very special encounter with God but doesn't know what is going on.
· We hear the voice of God as we did at the beginning of Jesus’s public life (Baptism)and also via angels at the end of his public life at his ascension.
· The voice of God says- listen to him
For us? It comes at a point just before lent starts: how do we travel on our own journey? Do we put our self first ? carry our cross whatever that may be? are we following Jesus ? We are ordered by no less than God himself to listen to him- Jesus
Where are we going? like the disciples, eternal life is our goal: we can not compromise on this
 How can we live lives that are attuned to God
To listen and hear how we should be : to let God be God in our lives (God of Surprises)
To be obedient to the will god
To do this we have opportunities to re-align our lives -lent presents us with such an opportunity
Have we got our priorities right ?
Do they need fine tuning?
Are there patterns in our lives that repeatedly trip us up?
How can we go forward in the strength of Christ
: we have the knowledge and reality of the resurrection and the support of the holy Spirit to guide and transform us: god selects us frail as we are to be his family: our weaknesses can be used by him as a strength if we allow Him to deal with our weaknesses.
Our thanks to Celia, for these notes. Have a blessed evening.


A prayer for our nation.

Lord, pour out Your Spirit upon this nation. Bring unbelievers to a saving knowledge of Your Son, Jesus. Prosper us and rain your blessings upon us..It is your goodness that keeps us from getting what we do deserve.Thank You that Your eyes are on the righteous and your ears are open to our prayers (1 Peter 3:12). May your Love and peace so rise in our hearts that it becomes our greatest testimony of your goodness.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Psalm 85:9

by Stormie Omartian, 'A book of prayer' 


Our Queen, defender of the Christian faith

Your Grace, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prince Philip and I are delighted to be with you today to pay tribute to the particular mission of Christianity and the general value of faith in this country.This gathering is a reminder of how much we owe the nine major religious traditions represented here. They are sources of a rich cultural heritage and have given rise to beautiful sacred objects and holy texts, as we have seen today.Yet these traditions are also contemporary families of faith. Our religions provide critical guidance for the way we live our lives, and for the way in which we treat each other. Many of the values and ideas we take for granted in this and other countries originate in the ancient wisdom of our traditions. Even the concept of a Jubilee is rooted in the Bible.
Here at Lambeth Palace we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life. The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents. But also, gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society – more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths.
This occasion is thus an opportunity to reflect on the importance of faith in creating and sustaining communities all over the United Kingdom. Faith plays a key role in the identity of many millions of people, providing not only a system of belief but also a sense of belonging. It can act as a spur for social action. Indeed, religious groups have a proud track record of helping those in the greatest need, including the sick, the elderly, the lonely and the disadvantaged. They remind us of the responsibilities we have beyond ourselves...
The Queen’s comments will be welcomed by many Christians after a week where secularists have challenged the place of Christianity in the nation. The High Court passed a ruling on 10 February that it was “unlawful” for local town councils to begin their formal meetings with prayer, breaking from hundreds of years of tradition. On the same day, two Christian guesthouse owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, lost their appeal against last year’s ruling that they had discriminated unlawfully against a non-married same-sex couple by only allowing married couples to rent double rooms in their guesthouse. Yesterday, Baroness Warsi, chairman of the Conservative Party, said that British society was under threat from a rising tide of "militant secularisation" reminiscent of "totalitarian regimes."
 Source: http://www.christianconcern.com


The Love of the Spirit

For the past weeks, I have been reading The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit by Reuben Archer Torrey and I do recommend it. 

If you have Kindle on your PC, go to Amazone.co.uk and you can download that book in less than 5 minutes. 

I like very much Torrey's style as it is concise, to the point and very clear. 

I can think of no thought more humbling or more overwhelming than the thought that a person of Divine majesty and glory (the Holy Spirit)dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me.
What are the distinctive characteristics, or marks, of personality? Knowledge, feeling or emotion, and will. Any entity that thinks and feels and wills is a person. 

If we read 1 Corinthians 2: 10-11, we are taught that the Holy Spirit is a Being who knows the truth.

In 1 Corinthians 12:11, we read, “But all these are the work of one and
the same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.”
Here will is ascribed to the Spirit and we are taught that the Holy
Spirit is not a power that we get hold of and use according to our
will but a Person of sovereign majesty, who uses us according
to His will.
Further on, R. Torrey tells us more about the personality of the Holy Spirit

In Romans 15:30, Paul says “Now I urge you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” Here we have “love” ascribed to the
Holy Spirit. The reader would do well to stop and ponder those 
five words, “the love of the Spirit.” We dwell often upon the
love of God the Father. It is the subject of our daily and constant
thought. We dwell often upon the love of Jesus Christ the Son.
Who would think of calling himself a Christian who passed a
day without meditating on the love of his Saviour, but how often
have we meditated upon “the love of the Spirit”?

Have you already read that book or are you acquainted with R.A. Torrey's books, let us know please. 
Steven and I are about to go out to diner in an Indian restaurant in Stone, the Crown of India, so to all my blogger and non-blogger friends, have a blessed Valentine evening. Your sister in Christ.