a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: God shines

The presence of God shines all around us, and yet our faces are buried in our phones, and our minds are on the tasks that are left undone, oblivious to the miracle of the Holy Spirit that surrounds. Let us together lift up our heads and open our eyes to see the work of God that abounds.

God of the snowfall and coming spring,
Spirit of the journey that leads us to the height of the mountain,
We open our hearts to you and to one another
the many ways we fall short to live into the fullness of life in you.
We create schedules that add to the burden,
And further shelter us from hearing your voice.
We add to the shadows finding the worst in the world around us,
Rather than living as instruments of your hope.
How quick we add to the discord with one another,
unable to see your face in our neighbor
in our disagreements we often miss the transference
of our own scars, disappointments, and should haves,
Help us again today to be renewed by your ever flowing grace
and unending love
Open all of who we are to your holy imagination of who we are yet to become restoring us in your glory. Praise be to God.

Submitted by Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian, Apple Valley, MN

Transfiguration Invocation

God of the high and low, we come before you this day seeking your Holy presence. We come to sing praises, pray petitions, and listen to the Word at your holy mountain. We come to experience metamorphosis, to be changed into your people. Change us in this hour so we might speak your Spirit of hope and grace to the world. We pray this in the name of Christ, AMEN.

 

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church, Burlington, IA

CTW: glory rising

Beyond our busyness,
above the cold winter floor
there is a glory rising born of heaven
and reaching out to each one of us
a light that shines through the clouds
an invitation seeking all of who we are
that transfigures the world
that transforms darkness into hope
that brings life from a cross
where old life end and new life is born
In glory Jesus meets us here
raising us from depths of valley to the height of the mountain
carrying the weight of our humanity
to the heights of heavens glory.
Let us worship from the mountain and hear again
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
Submitted by Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church, Apple Valley, MN

confession: open our eyes

Prayer of Confession
Holy God, you call us to faith, but so often we walk by sight:
We want fact to be truth and truth to be obvious.
We seek answers that resemble what already lies in our field of vision.
We value clarity more than reality, what we can see more than what may be, what conforms to our picture more than what shocks, surprises, challenges or confounds us.
Light of the world, forgive us when we privilege our own sight and thus become blind.
Open our eyes to you – your deeper truth and your life within us –
so that we might look around us and within us and see anew.
In faith, may we come to know you more fully, love more deeply,
and see the world and everyone it as you do, according to your grace.  Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Brothers and sisters, regardless of how we see, we are loved by Christ,
who came to bring sight to the blind in mind and spirit,
who knows our blind spots and gives us new vision.
May we learn to see with the eyes of Christ. Alleluia!
Sung Response: “Amazing Grace,” verse 1
for the Narrative Lectionary, Transfiguration Sunday: John 9
submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, New York

CTW: we want a spectacle

Leader: We want a spectacle. We want fireworks and a laser light show. We want the rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air. We want a production that will make the power go out. That will get our attention.

People: The Lord rules; let the people tremble; let the earth quake! God is great; he towers in splendor over everyone else!

Leader: What if Jesus showed up, and his face was dazzling, and his clothes were so white they radiated light? What if the greatest prophets of all time stood next to him and their appearance was even more glorious?

People: The people of God cried out to the Lord, and he answered them. The Lord spoke to them in a pillar of cloud and of fire!

Leader: We want glory. We want power. We want the assurance of things we never get to see. We want something to depend on, something to hope in, something to dedicate our lives to.

People: Let us extol the Lord our God, and worship on his holy mountain. For the Lord our God is holy!

ALL: LET US PRAISE THE LORD! ALLELUIA!

 

adapted from Psalm 99
submitted by Rev. Eric Beene, White Bluff Presbyterian Church, Savannah, GA

confession: afraid to see

Holy God,
when you call us to hope and to act with great boldness,
we tremble at your presence and cover our eyes.
We are afraid of what we will see
for your greatness unveils our weakness,
your justice unveils our brokenness,
and your holiness unveils our stained past.
O Lord, hear our prayer.

Giver of all grace, forgive us our sins.
Give us the strength to renounce that which hides you from us.
Give us the wisdom to execute justice and righteousness.
Give us the courage to uncover our hearts
that we might see the grace of your Son
and not lose heart.

 

Submitted by Stephen Fearing.

What Peter Wished He’d Said

I’m a fisherman, Lord, not a mountain climber.
I know sunburn, not radiance.
I know the fog of the sea, not heavenly mists.
I know the seagull’s call, not Mysterious Voices.
I know my yesterdays, not my future days.
But I also know You, Jesus.
And you, I will follow:
Back down the mountain,
to Jerusalem,
to an upper room,
to a midnight garden,
to a cross…

Submitted by Jerie Messer Lukefahr, elder St. Mark Presbyterian in Ballwin MO, CRE in training

CTW: come to the mountain

Leader: Come to the mountain, you people of God.
All: We come to hear God’s Word.
Leader: Come, you sisters, to proclaim God’s greatness,
Women: for the Lord is righteous and just!
Leader: Come, you brothers, to proclaim God’s goodness,
Men: for the Lord is the Holy One!
Leader: Come, you youth, to proclaim God’s brilliance,
Youth: for the Lord is clothed with light!
Leader: Come, you people, to the mountain of God
All: for we are gathered to worship our Lord!

 

Submitted by Stephen Fearing.

illumination: reveal

Reveal your presence to us this day,

O God of light, love, and glory.

As you did to your servants at the foot of the mountain,

send your Spirit to show us your story.

May the brilliance of your face

illuminate this place

as we dare to proclaim your Word

and may we, your people, be never unable

to tell all of that we have heard.

 

Submitted by Stephen Fearing.

confession: you call us, and we…

One:  You call us to the mountaintop, to see you as you really are.

All:  We follow, curious and wondering—but when we see your glory, we are speechless and afraid.

One:  You call us down the mountain, into the valleys of fear, into the shadow of death, into the streets and alleys, into the living rooms and kitchens and classrooms,

All:  and we come slowly, lingering in the light, catching reflected glory, enjoying our separate-ness.

One:  You call us to follow you into homeless shelters and halls of power, and in each to take off our shoes on this holy ground,

All:  and we look around in disgust, unwilling to see your holiness there.

One:  Forgive our narrow vision.

All:  When we see you in the beauty of creation and miss you in the pain of your people, forgive us, O God.

When we long for your voice and use our voices to shut you out, forgive us, O God.

When we would rather everyone just keep their shoes on, comfortable and ready to run, forgive us, O God.

One:  Draw us near to you and fill us with your Spirit, that we may know your holiness in every place and every person, not only where we want to see.

All:  Amen.