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Transfiguration Hymn: We Seek to Follow Christ

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Text: Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, 2018
Tune: TERRA BEATA (“This Is My Father’s World”, Glory to God #370)

1. The disciples followed Christ
Up a high mountain apart.
He preached the Word, but they had not heard
The wisdom from his heart.
We seek to follow Christ
And listen for his call.
Help us to hear, even though we fear
Our faith may prove too small.

2. And before their very eyes
They saw him shining bright.
His face, his clothes, his very soul
Were bathed in glorious light.
We seek to follow Christ
With vision pure and clear
To see his glow everywhere we go
And to his truth draw near.

3. The disciples wanted Christ
And prophets from the past
To stay in tents, but they could not sense
The moment would not last.
We seek to follow Christ
Through what we can control.
Give us the nerve to let go and serve
G-d’s glory to extol.

Submitted by Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

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CTW: Listen, Marvel, Follow

Listen to God, whose voice speaks from top of the tallest mountain to the depths of humanity.
May the peace of God’s words resonate within us!
Marvel at the light of the Holy Spirit, which inspires all goodness and shines forth brilliantly against the darkness of sin and evil.
May the light of the Holy Spirit be the lamp to our true path!
Follow Jesus wherever he leads you – for Jesus’ way is love.
May the love of Jesus lead us to change ourselves and the world! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Confession: we manipulate grace

Invitation to Tell the Truth About Ourselves
One: Jesus said, “those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.” Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, we admit before God and one another our faults and failings. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession (we tell the truth)
All: You know, O God, how often we set our mind on human things instead of divine things. You know the ways we try to force your Spirit to fit our agenda, to manipulate your grace for our own ends. You know that we are prone to thinking of our desires long before we ever consider yours. We confess these things to you, praying that saying them out loud might make us aware of our own brokenness, so that we can also be more aware of your ever-present grace. Startle us with your truth and your love. Set our minds and hearts on you, and lead us on your way. Amen. ~silence~

Assurance of Forgiveness
One: The grace of God is always doing a new thing—whether we are prepared, or worthy, or not. Let yourself live and believe this good news:
All: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Transfiguration Affirmation

Our hope is God, our holy Parent,
who makes all things and from whom all blessings flow.
God’s faithfulness is the anchor of our hope.

Our trust is in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
More than a teacher,
His life, death, and resurrection giving meaning to our existence.
Christ’s faithfulness tethers us to holy mystery.

Our trust is in the Holy Spirit.
Blowing over and through creation, unexpected and untamed,
The Spirit stirs forgiveness, fruitfulness, and creates families.
The Spirit’s faithfulness ties together past, present, and future.

Holy Trinity, One God, we believe you transfigure our faith. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, AK

Confession: sin is a hard word

Lord, sin is a hard word. I try so hard.
I do not do the good I want to do.

Is sin unavoidable, so that the world can see your grace?
I do not do the good I mean to do.

The broken frustrations of the world surround me and are within me.
I seek your will, forgetting that it has found me.

I long to feel a flood of forgiveness, to be transfigured, to be different- somehow, someway.
But you made me, you know me, you love me.

Forgive my sins- what I do, what I avoid.
Forgive my sins- what I say that should go unsaid, what I hold back that should be shouted.

Forgive my sins- the successes I credit to myself, forgetting your Spirit.
Forgive my sins- the shortcomings I see in others, forgetting my own.

Forgive us. Renew us. Transfigure us.

Silence for reflection

The God of creation does not begin work only to abandon it. The good thing that God has begun in you will continue until the day of Christ’s return and, then, eternally. Hear and receive in your hearts and minds to forgiveness of all your sins, consolation for all your griefs, affirmation of your gifts, and hope for your tomorrows. All of this is true and possible, through Jesus Christ- our Savior and Lord!
AMEN.

 

Submitted by Rev. Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage AK

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: we think too highly

Call to Confession

It is tempting to gloss over our sin and focus on our strengths, but God calls us to focus on the strength of Christ, not ourselves. God, who is faithful and just, offers us a new way to live, and so we join together to confess our faults and failings. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession

All: God, we are prone to think too highly of ourselves. We forget that it is you who are good, you who are the greatest. We forget that you call us to do your will, not the other way around. When we have fallen into arrogance, forgive us. When we have allowed our good intentions to stand in the way of your grace, forgive us. When we have directed attention away from you, forgive us. Empty us of all things that do not give glory to you, so we are ready to be filled with your love.

 ~silence~

One: We pray in the name of the One who emptied himself in order to live your will. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Hear and live this good news: Love could not be contained in the tomb and will not be constrained by our understanding! Christ is risen, bringing forgiveness and hope to all people. Alleluia! Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.