Change in the church is always a contentious issue. But even Jesus assumed that it would happen. And the book of Acts gives an example of a significant change. What these biblical texts give us is a Spirit Led pattern. This sermon takes Jesus’ words as the basis and Acts as the enaction of those words. Peter’s “ordered argument” is meaningful. It is not that revelation or vision and experience are meaningless. They are quite meaningful and Peter includes both as part of his argument. But his real argument is “remembering the Word of God.” This sermon looks at Peter’s Spirit led example and encourages us to examine our own changing in the same light.
The Easter Text in Mark’s gospel ends on a strange word – fear. What this sermon does is look both at our discomfort at fear and at what Easter has to say about it. Mixed in with a bit about that interesting ending of the gospel.
Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia!
This is the sermon delivered at the pastor’s meeting. If you heard the transfiguration sermon below, it is similar, but modified in a couple of ways for the audience. 1. I brought in the text for this coming Sunday hopefully to give the pastors a step or a bridge on this week’s meditation. (They really fit together, but that was something that got cut on transfiguration day as too confusing. The pastor’s have the advantage of holding both in their heads.) 2. The application is mostly reworked. Where the congregation sermon focused on individuals being open to the transfiguring grace of God, to the pastors the charge was both personal and as shepherds of congregations. 3. The personal story was ditched in favor of a tie into a presentation title given by the District President.
In one way, audience matters a lot. In another, the gospel is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. The best parts of these sermons probably could have been boiled down to a couple of paragraphs. But I like hearing my voice. Just kidding, a little. What I do think is that this sermon given to the pastors is probably a better fit of message and audience. I was probably thinking a little too much about this one when I was composing Sunday’s.
Transfiguration is an evocative word. Being creatures in a half dimension of time, we know the past but can’t do anything about it. We don’t know the future, and usually fear it, especially when we know that it will transfigure us. We can either let that fear change us, or we can let the Spirit transfigure us. What the transfiguration shows us is just how much Jesus was in the same situation. He trusted his Father (our heavenly Father) enough to put aside the glory for the cross. He trusted the character of the Father, the Father he reveals to us. We don’t know the future, we don’t know what Jesus will ask us to transfigure next, but we do know the Character of Jesus. We know what He did for us. Not that transfiguration won’t scare or leave scars, but that is the core of Faith. I trust that one – the crucified one – to change me by his grace.