Ian Thompson led worship today with Mark, Amanda, Jonny and ian Taylor. It was the second of our joint services with Headland Baptist Church. It’s a pretty amazing experience when we all come together to worship. It was also a chance to sing happy birthday to Jonny as he celebrated his 18th through the week.
Tim brought us the Word today, He got a lot of the kids to take part in a painting activity transforming plain pieces of paper into different names for Jesus simply by painting over the paper with a wash of paint. Tim assured parents that the paint would wash off so let’s hope he’s right.
Tim pointed out that the music has a definite rock influence this morning. Nothing wrong with also wanting to join in with what the kids are doing next door in our quiet bits, particularly the Father Abraham song .
Tim read to us from Luke 9 verse 28 onwards, the story of the transfiguration.
He asked if anyone had been up Roseberry Topping. Anyone heard a voice from heaven whilst they are up there in the clouds, It does not happen very often. Jesus had just shared eight days before that his path would lead to death and the cross. So what had Peter and the other disciples being doing in the eight days, they were probably frightened and confused. Here they were now on the mountain top having this experience.
A lot of people are looking for that mountain top. But many of us don’t have this dramatic experience, Tim asked if any of us had been stood in a cloud on a mountain hearing the voice of God. No one out their hand up. Many of us live at the bottom of the mountain.
Tim let slip that he is a big Elbow fan and that this transfiguration sunday always reminds him of their song lyric,” One a day this like a year’d see me right!” (For those who don’t know who Elbow are they are a Manchester band) Point of the story is that Luke is telling us who Jesus really is, letting the disciples have this glimpse before the road to Calvary. Why were they sleepy ? Is this more about them not being aware and then having something revealed to them. Maybe this shows Jesus as quiet in prayer. The disciples do the same at Gethsemane . There though, the humanity of Christ was revealed to them. On both occasions they are awoken to the true nature of Jesus.
In the moments of pain and darkness in our lives we might struggle to see the presence and truth of Jesus. Perplexed and frightened is the reaction of the disciples,
Jesus is seen here between the two pillars of the Jewish faith, Moses and Elijah, with them giving a glimpse of the resurrection story.
Peter was a practical guy and his strange desire or response was to build some tents. He didn’t know what he was saying. He was maybe trying to preserve the moment. The Jewish expectation for the Messiah was a start of the new age at the festival of booths. Maybe this is why Peter feels he needs to build the tents or booths, Peter assumes the deal is done, that this is the end point. Suffering and death and a cross on a Hill was not on the agenda. Death and resurrection is something they cannot get their heads around . They had not remembered that Jesus has already said that he had not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it.
Jesus is the Christ he is the Messiah , the incarnate Son of God.
He chose to show up as one of us and follow the path to the Cross simply because he loved the people he had created.
It’s a simple story that is there to reassure people that the events described are to be trusted as a beacon of hope. We’re given a glimpse of who Jesus really is as we live our lives. Wherever we go he journeys with us , in darkness or on the mountain top. He’s the only one we need to listen to. Listen to Him, listen to Him.