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Transfiguration B - Last Epiphany 6B
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Gospel: Mark 9: 2-10

Highlighted Verses: Mark 9: 2-10

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.

(Note that this week's sermon makes use of a visual aid, a sheet of paper labeled (depending upon its orientation) MOM or WOW. A printable pdf version can be accessed by clicking here.)

I have a little test for you today - a reading test. I'm going to show you a word that I'm pretty sure some of you will know. Take a look quietly and put your finger on your nose if you can tell me what this word is...ready? (Reveal the paper, oriented to read "mom." Solicit children's answers.)

That's right - "mom." M-O-M spells mom, but are you sure that's what this word really says? What if I turn it over like this? (Turn paper over to orient the letters to read "wow.")

Hmm...You're right - and "wow" is a good word to describe it too, because just by turning the paper in a different direction we have a whole different word. It's the same paper - but we're seeing it in whole new way.

Something similar happens in this week's Gospel lesson. Several of the disciples are walking with Jesus up a high mountain when all of a sudden they see him in a new and different way. His clothes suddenly become a dazzling white and they hear the voice of God explaining that  "this is my Son."

There's a special name for this in the Bible. See if you can say it with me. We call this the transfiguration. When something is transfigured it changes the way it looks or is transformed. (We could say that caterpillars are transfigured when they change into butterflies - their whole appearance changes and they become something new.)

Jesus doesn't change his shape - but like with our "mom" sign, suddenly the disciples are able to see him in a whole new way: as the Son of God.

It's a very exciting moment that changes everything for them.

Can we pray?

Dear God,

We thank you for revealing your Son Jesus to us. Help us to live in his example this week. 


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