yearA transfiguration
 

 


Sermon for this week:

Matthew 17:1-9  - "A Mountain of Meaning"
Various Text     -    "Lenten Sermon Series"

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Matthew 17: A brilliant magician was performing on an ocean liner. But every time he did a trick, the Captain's parrot would yell, "It's a trick. He's a phony. That's not magic." Then one evening during a storm, the ship sank while the magician was performing. The parrot and the magician ended up in the same lifeboat. For several days they just glared at each other, neither saying a word to the other. Finally the parrot said, "OK, I give up. What did you do with the ship?"

 

 The parrot couldn’t explain that last trick! It was too much to comprehend, even for a smart parrot. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Scholars over the years have tried to explain what in the world Peter meant by this suggestion. But, I think trying to find meaning to these words is pointless. It’s simply the way Matthew explains: Peter was frightened and he just said the first thing that came to into his head. He simply could not comprehend what was happening.

 

In life, moments occur that are incomprehensible. The birth of one’s own child is one of those moments. The loss of a loved one is one of those moments. September 11 was one of those moments. There are mountaintop and valley moments throughout life. We are never ready for them. They arrive unannounced changing us in irreversible ways. But there is one thing they all have in common. They demand that we be silent and listen. These moments have something to say to us, to teach us.

 

But too often our response is like that of Peter, babbling absurdities because we cannot understand the significant, the meaningful moment. When Peter does finally quit talking nonsense a cloud appears, envelopes them, and the voice of God gives this instruction to Peter, James, and John: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!” That’s it. Very short. To the point. What Peter said made no sense. What God said had a mountain of meaning. I would like to spend a few moments this morning unpacking the meaning of it:

 

1. This is my Son.

2. Whom I love.

3. Listen to Him.

 

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Sermon Series for Lent: 

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Lenten: A Sight For Blind Eyes
                        David E. Leininger

 

1.   Lent - Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 

2.   The Devil Made Me Do It  -  Matthew 4:1-11 

3.   Nicodemus  -  John 3:1-15 

4.   Excuses (Alternate Lent 2)  -  Luke 14:16-23 

5.   Unexpected Evangelists  -  John 4:5-42 

6.   Sight for Blind Eyes  -  John 9: 

7.   The Grief Grinch  -  John 11:17-36 

8.   Sometimes Youve Got to Shout!  -  John 12:12-16
9.   The Imperatives of the Resurrection  -  Matthew 28:1-10


Lenten: They Heard Him Gladly
                        James W. Moore

1.   The Common People Heard Him Gladly  -  Mark 12:35-37

2.   Jesus and Andrew  -  John 1:35-42

3.   Jesus and Zacchaeus  -  Luke 19:1-10

4.   Jesus and Bartimaeus  -  Mark 10:46-52

5.   Jesus and Mary and Martha  -  Luke 10:38-42 

6.   Jesus and Mary Magdalene  -  John 20:11-18

7.   When The Risen Christ Comes Looking For Us  -  John 21:15-19


Lenten: The Passion Of The Christ
                        Brett Blair

1.   His Triumphal Entry  -  Luke 19:28-40

2.   His Cleansing Of The Temple  -  Luke 19:45-48

3.   His Teachings  -  Luke 20:27-38
4.   His Last Supper  -  Luke 22:14-23

5.   His Trial  -  Luke 23:13-25

6.   His Death  -  Luke 23:33-43

7.   His Resurrection  -  John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-10

 

 

Lenten: The Healing Power Of The Christ
                        James W. Moore

1.   The Healing Of Simons Mother-in-Law  -  Mark 1:21-28

2.   The Healing of the Man with the Withered Hand  -  Mark 3:1-6

3.   The Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac

4.   The Healing of Jairus Daughter and the Hemorrhaging Woman - Mark 5:21-43

5.   The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus  -  Mark 10:46-52

6.   The Healing Power of the Cross  -  Mark 15:33-41

7.   The Healing Power of the Resurrection  -  John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-10


Lenten: Encounters With Christ
                        James W. Moore

1.   Jesus & the Man Born Blind  -  John 9:1-12

2.   Jesus and Mary and Martha  -  Luke 10:38-42

3.   Jesus and Nicodemus  -  John 3:1-10

4.   Jesus and the Woman at the Well  -  John 4:7-15

5.   Jesus and James and John  -  Matthew 20:20-28

6.   Jesus and Caiaphas  -  Matthew 26:58-68

7.   Jesus & Mary Magdalene  -  Mark 16:1-7


Lenten: Journey To The Cross
                        James W. Moore

1.   Jesus And The Demon-Possessed Man  -  Mark 5:1-20

2.   Jesus And The Hemorrhaging Woman  -  Mark 5:21-43

3.   Jesus And The Extravagant Woman  -  Mark 14:1-9

4.   Jesus and Judas  -  Mark 14:43-51

5.   Jesus and Simon Peter  -  Mark 14:66-72

6.   Jesus And Pontius Pilate  -  Matthew 27:15-26

7.   Jesus And The Women At The Tomb  -  Mark 16:1-8


Lenten: The Man From Galilee
                        Thomas A. Pilgrim

1.   The Temptation Of His Life  -  Matthew 4:1-11

2.   The Transformation Of His Call  -  Matthew 4:18-22

3.   The Touch Of His Hand  -  Matthew 8:14-17

4.   The Treasure Of His Kingdom  -  Matthew 13:44

5.   The Test Of His Courage  -  Matthew 20:17-19

6.   The Tragedy Of His Victory  -  Luke 19:28-40

7.   The Triumph Of His Defeat  -  Matthew 28:1-10

 

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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....

 

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