03032019 Transfiguration Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“This is My Son....Listen to Him!”


03032019 Transfiguration Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

March 3, 2019
“This is My Son....Listen to Him!”
Sermon Audio

Today, in terms of the church year, we stand at the end and beginning of two seasons during the festival time of the church year.  We have had an extended period since Christmas where we pondered the meaning of Epiphany and this Wednesday we like travelers setting off on a new journey will embark upon our Lenten journey of discovery of hymns and their history and application in and to our daily lives.

Yet, before taking the first step in our Lenten journey, we gather today and at the end of our service, we will say goodbye to the Alleluia’s.  But, first we end our season of Epiphany with the greatest mystery of the manifestation of the Glory of Jesus Christ in our Gospel with His transfiguration.  Scholars have held heated debates on where Jesus transfiguration and meeting with Moses and Elijah took place, but the reality is, where matters not. What matters is that Jesus before His crucifixion and burial, in front of His beloved disciples, Peter, John, and James,  Jesus Christ was transfigured. And then the disciples heard the voice of God the Father say, “This is My Son...Listen to Him!”

One can only imagine hearing the voice of God the Father.  Many in our culture try and replicate His voice with our modern microphones and sound systems, but cannot do Him justice.  But notice, God states a truth we need to hear and an action we need to fulfill. God the Father first says, ‘This is my Son’.  He makes it clear to the disciples who evidently hadn’t gotten the message that the Man Who walked with them, was teaching them daily and living and walking throughout Israel was not just a mortal man, but in fact, the Son of God.  He was as we will confess in the Nicene Creed in a few minutes the ‘begotten of the Father, God from God...true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father’.  ‘This is my Son’ is pointed out by the same God Who led His chosen people out of slavery in Egypt, fed them manna from heaven and gave them the land they now were living in and had been since God the Father had brought them from slavery to freedom into the promised land.  Their God Whom they worshipped in the Temple built by Solomon had spoken and said, “This is My Son...Listen to Him!”

Did you hear what His last three Words were?  ‘Listen to Him’!  God didn’t stutter, didn’t whisper, but clearly said, “This is My Son....Listen to Him!”  Yet, even though the message was crystal clear.  The disciples would still run away when Jesus was arrested, Peter would deny Jesus three times and not until they touched Him, ate with Him and heard Him speak to them as they saw His resurrected Body, saw Him ascend into heaven and been given the Holy Spirit, would they be willing not only to share the message of salvation, but also make disciples of all nations.  It didn’t mean they hadn’t or wouldn’t ‘Listen to Him’, but what it did mean was they heard the message, but there was a disconnect to what they had seen and experienced on the mountaintop and what they should do after Jesus was transfigured..

We who gather here today 2000 years later are no different than the disciples.  We have heard God’s message, “This is My Son...Listen to Him!”  We have been forgiven for our sins with our corporate confession and forgiveness.  Listened and heard God’s Word in the lessons read recounting Moses and his death and Jacob’s becoming the leader of the Israelite people who would enter the promised land where the disciples would see Jesus transfiguration.

Yet, we like the disciples, who gather here today, potentially don’t trust the messenger nor the message.  We have no reason not to trust Jesus, God was clear, ‘Listen to Him’.  We like the disciples who saw Jesus transfigured probably doubt one another, whether in fulfilling what we say we will do, inadvertently saying the wrong thing or even failing to create trust.  And Satan knows this and wants us to doubt and not trust, not build trust, nor desire for us to succeed spreading the message of Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers us as Christians in our world, our culture here in Western Pennsylvania, but especially here at Emmanuel where we have heard God’s call as His children, bought by the Blood of Jesus Christ.  However, the message from God the Father is clear, “This is My Son...Listen to Him!”

Jesus Whom we can trust was transfigured on the mountaintop in front of His disciples.  His Father in heaven spoke to all who were there and said, “This is My Son...Listen to Him”.  This means that we should learn to trust the message from Jesus and if and when we, including me, as the messenger fail and break the trust of the people we journey with here in the church, and we will, we need to reach out to one another, allow us to confess, receive forgiveness and let us see Jesus in each of us and feel His love and forgiveness.  Because Jesus heard His Father’s Word’s as well, “This is My Son...Listen to Him.”

What then can occur among each and every one of us here at Emmanuel and in our world is that God will transfigure each of us, and by our confession of how we have fallen short of the glory of God, enable us lay claim to the forgiveness He offers us and help us to point to Jesus for others so we can be forgiven and transfigured by the power of God.  So we then as the people of God, who fail daily can trust God’s offer of grace for us and for all of mankind that we have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world and in unity can stand together as the freed people of God, as His chosen people and begin to daily, weekly and lovingly rebuild trust in our relationships here at Emmanuel and especially in our world that we live in.  In so doing we can then see Jesus in each others eyes and feel the love of God, the trust God has in His Son and demonstrate that the Savior Who was transfigured can transfigure us in order for we His children to believe God the Father’s Word, “This is My Son...Listen to Him”!  AMEN.