Transfiguration, Year C

Musical Reflection
The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stevens


Invocation

God unknown
and unsheltered
by our poor constructs:
open us to the moments
when heaven overshadows time
and robs us of empty words;
in the moment of silence
help us to listen
to the Chosen One,
who goes to die so we might live,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

First Reading

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

 

Second Reading
Lines
by Dan Beachy-Quick

The lightning struck him and left a scar.
The wind stopped blowing and the wheat stood up.
Self-tensed self, who is this I that says I ?
I had a scar in the shape of  lightning
That split in half when I opened my mouth.
The sun  just a circle of  heat in the sky
Throwing absence in the shape of clouds
Down on the field. Another life placed
In the middle of  the life I called my own.
A lesser god commanded the front: return.
A little god knocked about in the germ.
The third person put me outside my own sphere.
A small god chanting lightning in the synapse.
Wind blows the wheat down. He calls it prayer.
Gospel Reading
Luke 9:28-43

About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. Two people, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. They were clothed with heavenly splendour and spoke about Jesus’s departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two people with him.

As the two others were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying. Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe.

Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Child, my chosen one. Listen to him!” Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They were speechless and at the time told no one what they had seen.

The next day, when Jesus, Peter, John, and James had come down from the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. A person from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to take a look at my my only child. Look, a spirit seizes him and, without any warning, he screams. It shakes him and causes him to foam at the mouth. It tortures him and rarely leaves him alone. I begged your disciples to throw it out, but they couldn’t.”

Jesus answered, “You faithless and crooked generation, how long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your child here.” While he was coming, the demon threw him down and shook him violently. Jesus spoke harshly to the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father. Everyone was overwhelmed by God’s greatness.

Musical Reflection
Changes Come by Over the Rhine

 

Prayer for Transfiguration
by William Loader, adapted

O God,
We open our eyes and we see Jesus,
the months of ministry transfigured to a beam of light,
the light of the world,
your light.
May your light shine upon us.

We open our eyes and we see Moses and Elijah,
your word restoring us, showing us the way,
telling a story,
your story, his story, our story.
May your word speak to us.

We open our eyes and we see mist,
the cloud of your presence
which assures us of all we do not know
and that we do not need to fear that.
Teach us to trust.

We open our eyes and we see Peter’s constructions,
his best plans, our best plans,
our missing the point,
our missing the way.
Forgive our foolishness.

We open our eyes and we see Jesus,
not casting us off,
but leading us down, leading us out.
Your love endures forever.

We open our ears and we hear your voice,
‘This is my beloved Child, listen to him!’
And we give you thanks.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father and Mother, our Parent who art in Perfection,
we love you so much that even your Name is holy to us.
Thy community come,
Thy yearning be done,
among all of us here as well as in heaven.
Give us this day just what we need.
And forgive us our trespasses –
but only as much as we forgive those
who trespass against our own boundaries.
Save us from this time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the community, the power,
and the glory are yours –
now and forever. Amen.

Musical Reflection
Lightning by David Byrne & St Vincent


Blessing

Mysterious God, confounding our expectations,
meeting us where we least expect to find you,
Stay with us now.

Child of the manger, healing our pain,
sharing our weakness,
Stay with us now.

Source of life,
birth of God within our own experience,
Stay with us now.

Stay with us in our frailty and our strength,
stay with us on our journeys,
walk beside us, live within us,
lead us to glory, lead us home.

May the blessing of God – God beyond us, God with us, and God within us,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Sources:

Artwork by Magic Eye

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stevens

Poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

Poem Lines by Dan Beachy-Quick

Musical Reflection Changes Come by Over the Rhine

Prayer by William Loader

Lord’s Prayer by Rev Dan Geslin

Musical Reflection Lightning by David Byrne & St Vincent

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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