"Consider this ...." by Canon Denise

 

Canon Denise Acheson

Years ago I came across a poem which basically said – the more you learn makes you realise how little you know! Becoming a Christian is the first step of an eternal learning journey.

With the Holy Spirit’s guidance along the way one learns new things about oneself, about God and about others. We may outgrow some of the things we learned in the past as we grow closer to God through faith in Christ.

Faith is not static – and there are many things which we are called to think upon as we journey. 1 John 4 v1 says to test the spirits in order to recognise the Spirit of God.

During Denise’s absence, Campbell and Janice will contribute some thoughts each week.

So as we journey together let’s make time and space to consider this …….

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The Sunday before Lent - Transfiguration

Collect
Almighty Father,
whose Son was revealed in majesty
before he suffered death upon the cross:
Give us grace to perceive his glory,
that we may be strengthened to suffer with him
and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The First Reading - Exodus 34: 29-35
The Psalm - Psalm 99
The Second Reading - 2 Corinthians 3: 12 - 4: 2
The Gospel Reading - Luke 9: 28-36, 37-43
Click here to view the readings via the oremus Bible Browser website.

Post Communion Prayer
Holy God
we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
May we who are partakers at his table
reflect his life in word and deed,
that all the world may know
his power to change and save.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Generally speaking various inferences can be drawn by looking at a persons face, particularly the faces of people we know well. For example we can tell when a person is sad, or on the other hand when they are happy. We can tell when a person is in a grumpy mood, or when in high spirits. We can tell if a person is angry or when they are happy. Even in an interview situation, faces can indicate when someone is calm and relaxed or when they are under pressure - faces tell a lot.
All our readings for this Sunday refer to faces - the face of Moses after he came down from the mountain and the face of Jesus when he went up a mountain. Their faces reflected the glory of God. The disciples who accompanied Jesus were so transfixed with the whole experience they were on one hand amazed at the experience and yet terrified as well.

I suppose many of us have in our lifes journey those mountain top experiences whether in daily living we feel so blessed that our faces, even our behaviour radiates our feelings - perhaps on the day when an engagement ring was placed on a finger; perhaps on the day when rings were placed on each other's fingers in front of friends and family; then of course the birth of a child or grandchild and so on - those of you who met Janice and Ron after the recent birth of their first grandchild could tell of their joy by just looking at their faces!

Then in those experiences when we get so close to God (whether at a church service or in the quietness of our home or in a café passing the time), through something we have read, through listening to music, in prayer or perhaps sharing a thought - All very special times and times to be treasured, indeed times when we feel we are walking on air and truly blessed.
And these special experiences give us strength in our daily living as we journey on, meeting the challenges that lie ahead of us as we come down from 'the mountain top'.

Just as Jesus did as he came down from the mountain top to meet a situation that his disciples could not deal with and to face the prospect of what lay ahead at Calvary.

May each of us allow those 'mountain top' experiences to transform us as we see more and more the glory of God so that, as St Paul urges, 'we do not lose heart' in the valleys we undoubtedly will encounter.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Revd Campbell Dixon MBE

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