27/02/2012

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.


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