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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sermon 01202013 Transfiguration


May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  Gracious God from Mount Sinai You sent Your servant Moses with the commandments written on the two tablets.  With each commandment there is a promise from God that we sometimes fail to understand.  May we like Moses be transformed and recognize how God impacts our daily lives and enable us to see, understand and believe these commandments are a blessing for us from God and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  For Jesus was transfigured in order for His Glory to be revealed for all of mankind, especially all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

While at seminary one of the videos that was produced which told of the ministry of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary described the process of the formation of Pastors like a potter and clay.  When the clay was ‘flung’ on the wheel and began to be ‘turned’ each revolution transfigured the clay from a block of shapeless dirt into a unique item.  So to in Pastoral Ministry the preparation that took place at seminary was a transfiguration of individuals from being not only children of God to our being transfigured into God’s called instrument to a specific congregation.  This calling to a Pastor though unique to every congregation or ministry setting clearly is another way in which not only Pastor’s but congregations are uniquely transfigured by God with clear ministries and purposes in mind.

Our Old Testament text this morning is the transfiguration of Moses when he brought down the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments from Mt. Sinai.  Moses transfiguration unlike Jesus which we also celebrate today wasn’t of clothing or height nor of his gender, but simply the skin on Moses face shone brightly.  In our culture today we see advertisements and ads on television, the computer and in the newspaper claiming the ability to have ‘glowing skin’ or even crops like wheat, corn or sunflowers that will shine with the noon day sun and give a higher yield.  Well Moses, whose skin was clearly transfigured clearly shined when he descended from Mt. Sinai.  It wasn’t from any healthcare product, it was from something more profound and longer lasting.

Moses while he was on Mount Sinai encountered the presence of God.  It wasn’t in passing, Moses was in God’s presence to fulfill God’s purpose for his climbing the mountain.  There was a three-fold purpose.  First it was to have a personal encounter with God.  Moses, who as his name means, had been ‘drawn out of the water’ also whom God had called in the burning bush had something that not since Adam and Eve had anyone really had.  Moses had a special personal relationship with God. This relationship unlike the one from the Garden of Eden between Adam and God was one that had a purpose in mind, to model for us today what relationship with God can really be like.  Moses had to trust God and became a leader for the people of Israel.  Moses leadership was not easy, but leading the people through the wilderness because of their sin, Moses because of his special relationship modeled how God can still use us even today here in Goodland, KS.

Second, Moses went up to Mount Sinai to bring back down the 10 Commandments from God.  The 10 Commandments were God’s expectations of the people of God.  This was where God in clear and distinct form and function outlined for the people what they should do.  These same commandments we still have to this day and teach about them to our children, confirmation students and use them as a basis for our laws that we have in society.  Yet, Moses personally witnessed their creation, implementation and their application for the people of Israel.  The 10 Commandments for us today not only promise God’s interest, but especially His presence.  When we honor God by following the commandments, the relationship that God had with Moses can be ours as well.  We though sinful creatures conceived and born in sin, through one Man have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with God because of Jesus Christ fulfilling the 10 Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai.

Finally, Moses ascending and descending Mount Sinai was to reveal to God’s people when we encounter God, we are transfigured as well.  Our transfiguration occurs because of and through our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection.  Just as we celebrated last week Jesus Baptism by John in the Jordan River and our Baptism by Water and Word, the simple act of water poured over our head intimately connected with God’s Word transforms and transfigures us into Children of God.

With our transfiguration we are no longer only sinners, we are transfigured into Children of our Heavenly Father and now have the ability to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son.  We are new creatures that enter into a deeper relationship with God and with the knowledge of our sin as measured by the 10 Commandments our sin is revealed to us in light of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Yet, this relationship transfigures and changes us and reveals to us an opportunity to be further transfigured by and through Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  And we know we cannot keep the 10 Commandments perfectly, but Jesus Christ did and this is His gift offered to and for each and every one of us.

For through God’s gift of the Commandments through Moses bringing them down from Mount Sinai our relationship with God we have the opportunity to understand them and be transformed and transfigured into God’s children.  We are renewed with our partaking of Holy Communion and our relationship with Jesus Christ changes and transfigures us into a new creation.  This new creation is the result of Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection for all of mankind, but especially for all of us saints that are gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
//trial script