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Feb 10

Transfiguration of the Lord (Year B)

2 Kings 2:1-12

  • There are lots of images and ideas to work with in this passage — repetition of key words and phrases, interesting characters, and dynamic settings all work together to tell an interesting story of devotion, loyalty, stubbornness, and faith.
  • It fits with the Psalm text quite naturally, but it provides an  interesting compare/contrast possibility if paired with the Gospel lesson from Mark.  In the reading from 2 Kings, Elijah wants Elisha to “stay” in one place; but, in the reading from Mark, the disciples want Elijah (and Jesus and Moses) to “stay” on the mountain.  Where are we in the texts?  Do we want to “stay”, or do we want to “follow”?
  • It may be interesting to play with the image of the “mantle”.  If we read on  in this text (2 Kings 2:13-14), we discover that the Elijah’s mantle is passed along to Elisha.  What “mantle” has been passed on to us?
  • Use rolled-up fabric to represent the rolled-up mantle in your worship decor.
  • If you want to be bold, construct a “whirlwind” for the front of your worship space.  Wrap a hula-hoop with strips of white fabric or ribbon, and tie long pieces of white fabric or ribbon to the hula-hoop (creating a wind-sock, basically).  Using ribbon with wire will allow you to give it shape easier.  Bring the ends of the cloths/ribbons that are hanging down from the hula-hoop together, twisting the whole thing to create a whirlwind/tornado shape.  Use fishing line to hang it.
  • If creating your own whirlwind isn’t quite your thing (but, you have projection equipment), you can always project images of tornadoes and other storms.
  • This text could easily be presented as a reader’s theater…

Psalm 50:1-6

  • God does not keep silent.  How does God speak to us today?  How do we listen?  What do we hear?
  • Following God requires sacrifice.  What has been sacrificed for us?  What are we willing to sacrifice?

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

  • We are called to let the light of God shine in and through us.
  • Our vision can be clouded by the world — veiled by things like jealousy, distrust, hate, assumptions, pride, and fear.  It is important that we do our best to be bearers of God’s light – not clouds that get in the way of God’s light.
  • Simple idea for a Time with Young Disciples: teach the kids (and congregation) the song “This Little Light of Mine”.
  • Easy giveaway idea: mini flashlights.
  • Be sure to include plenty of light in your worship space if you are focusing on this text.  Using lots of candles or lamps in your worship decor is a great place to start…

Mark 9:2-9 (10)

  • Since it is “Transfiguration Sunday”, it makes sense that we read this passage.  Remember, though: “transfigure” and “transfiguration” are both “churchy words”.  Insiders may (or may not) know what you are talking about, but visitors/new members likely will have no clue what this is all about.  Offering a clear definition as you speak about this text will go a long way to help folks feel welcome in your worship service.
  • Even though the disciples “did not know what to say,” they go ahead and start talking anyway.  This time, they suggest that they construct homes for the Master Carpenter and his two friends, Moses and Elijah.  “It is good for us to be here,” they say.  They don’t want to leave the mountain (or, at least, they don’t want Jesus, Moses, or Elijah to leave the mountain).  As long as they live there in that one spot, there will be a kind of “security” — the disciples will have these prophets on-call, as it were.  But, God isn’t meant to be captured in dwellings on mountains.  God has things to do, places to go, and other people to see.
  • Where are we in this text?  How are we like the disciples (wanting to build houses for Jesus to live in – houses of our own design)?  How are we like the clothes that are changed?  How are we like the disciples who aren’t on the mountain with Jesus?

*** Don’t forget — the liturgical color for Transfiguration Sunday is WHITE. ***

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