Last Sunday after Epiphany- Week of February 14, 2021
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Dear God, through your Son’s transfiguration we see your glory revealed in the world. Help us find this glory in the highs and lows of our daily lives. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice in the Way of Love is WORSHIP. The revelation of God’s glory in the world around us leads us to worship. How does our worship praise God for God’s glory? What parts of our worship remind us of how God is revealed in the world around us?
Adult and Small Child
Read: Mark 9:2-9
Reflect: I wonder what it felt like to be on the mountaintop when Jesus was transfigured. (Transfigured is a fancy word that means Jesus changed appearances! In the text, it says he becomes “dazzling white.” (Mark 9:3, NRSV) How do you think Peter, James, and John felt on that mountaintop? How would you feel? I think that at first I would be a little scared, but then I’d probably be excited. How amazing would it would be to witness Jesus being changed in this way, and to hear God’s voice!
Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountain, or a hill? I have. I went hiking up mountains last summer. At the top, I felt so close to God! I think that’s how the disciples felt on the mountaintop with Jesus. Seeing Jesus change before their eyes probably brought them closer to God. We don’t have to be on a mountaintop to feel close to God. I feel close to God when I sing, or read the Bible, or pray, or worship. When do you feel close to God?
Respond: When we engage in worship, we give thanks to God for all of the ways God comes to us in our daily lives. We celebrate being close to God! Spend time in worship together this week. Sing some of your family’s favorite hymns or church songs. You might even decide to dance around! Thank God for coming to us, both during Jesus’ transfiguration and in our everyday lives.
- Victoria Hoppes
Adult and Elementary
Read: Mark 9:2-9
Reflect: I bet you have done something that made your clothes get dirty. Maybe you did something that made your clothes muddy and sticky. Your sweat got into it after running around outside or playing a sport. Perhaps that happens every day or at least every week. But your old dirty clothes go into the laundry and get fresh and clean. Have you ever helped with laundry? Maybe folded the towels or tried to match your socks into pairs? Did you sniff the clothes and smell that fresh clothes smell?
This may sound a little strange...But did you know that going to church is a lot like laundry? Monday to Saturday, as you do things and things happen to you and those you know, you get muddy, sticky, and smelly. Not necessarily like on your clothes where you can see it but in harder to see places like inside your heart. Maybe something sad happened to someone you care about. Maybe you did something that was not so nice. You can take all that to church and by participating, you can wash all of it. Afterward, you may feel cleaner or fresher, ready for the new week.
Respond: Do laundry together this week. As you collect the dirty clothes, ask each other to share about the lows of your week. What are the sad things that are sticking to your heart? What are the things that you did that are leaving a bad smell in your nose? As you take clothes out of the dryer and feel their warmth and smell their freshness, begin to fold them and share your highs and hopes. What brought you joy in the past week? What are you looking forward to in the week ahead?
- Patrick Kangrga
Adult and Youth
Read: Mark 9:2-9
Reflect: Just like in the Old Testament when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, we find God calling Jesus to go up on a mountain. However, he doesn’t go alone. He brings with him Peter, James, and John. These disciples were terrified when they saw Jesus become enveloped in a great white light and Elijah and Moses then also standing before them. Even though this experience was so scary for Peter, James, and John, God was with them and Jesus told them to not be afraid. Just like on top of the mountain, Jesus is with us in our highs and lows. We do not have to be afraid of what lies before us and behind us. We will walk the journey together hand in hand.
Respond: Have you ever had a mountain top experience? It doesn’t have to be on a literal mountain, but maybe you went on an amazing mission trip or attended a retreat, or spent some time away with family or friends? Write about a mountaintop experience you’ve had: What was that experience like? What were the high points of your mountain top experience and what made it so special? How can you connect those “mountain top” moments to your everyday life to allow yourself to be freer and closer to God?
- Lauren Wainwright
Adult and Adults
Read: Mark 9:2-9
Reflect: Many non-Christian people around the world are familiar, in a round-about way, with the transfiguration story because they have heard of it in one of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speeches. On the day before he died, Rev. Dr. King gave a speech in defense of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. Based on conversations he had with loved ones at that time, we now know that he believed death was approaching. He closed the speech with a report of his own transfiguration experience:
“Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
As you make
your way through the week, I invite you to ponder where you have experienced,
seen, or heard of “mountaintop” experiences, in which people have been
dramatically transformed by God’s love to prepare them to do God’s work in the
Respond: Have you ever had a “mountaintop” experience? If so, how were you different when you went back to your daily life? If not, who do you know who has? How were they changed? In the Episcopal Church, we proclaim that Holy Communion is, in fact, a mountaintop experience that we get to partake of together. As we take the body and blood of Jesus into our own, we are united with him at the table of a heavenly banquet. When we leave the communion table, we carry that experience with us everywhere. Each time you sit down to a meal this week, I invite you to contemplate how the blessings of the Communion feast are dwelling within you and how you are called to share them.
- Jessica Davis