COCU17C.Transfiguration Sunday.7thFeb2016

Transfiguration Sunday – last Sunday in Epiphany 

Year C readings
Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)

And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white (Luke 9.29)

Dazzling: A Blessing for Transfiguration Sunday (Jan Richardson)
Believe me, I know
how tempting it is
to remain inside this blessing,
to linger where everything
is dazzling
and clear.

We could build walls
around this blessing,
put a roof over it.
We could bring in
a table, chairs,
have the most amazing meals.
We could make a home.
We could stay.

But this blessing
is built for leaving.
This blessing
is made for coming down
the mountain.
This blessing
wants to be in motion,
to travel with you
as you return
to level ground.

It will seem strange
how quiet this blessing becomes
when it returns to earth.
It is not shy.
It is not afraid.

It simply knows
how to bide its time,
to watch and wait,
to discern and pray

until the moment comes
when it will reveal
everything it knows,
when it will shine forth
with all that it has seen,
when it will dazzle
with the unforgettable light
you have carried
all this way. (c) Jan Richardson (

We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.
(Source: Long Walk To Freedom, Nelson Mandela)

Prayer: Give Way to Glory (inspired by Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)
May we give way to glory, O God
May we let the light tangle with our lives
that we may see what you see in us
may we see what you see
a love born in eternity
that find a home in our souls
and wants to be there
a word that lifts itself
from page into life
and tells a story
that begins with itself
may we see what you see
a vision that brings past and future
into the one meeting place
and offers is all as present
a wisdom born of generations
where time nurtures the promise
and the longings of believers
wondering if this will the be the generation that breaks it open
May we give way to glory
and dare its splendour
to rekindle our faith
and transfigure our lives
So be it. Amen
(Source: Roddy Hamilton, Listening to the Stones)

Call to worship
We gather as the faithful of God,
we come to listen to what God has to say to us.
God has invited us to this place;
may our faces reflect our hopes and our hearts.
We gather as the faithful of God,
people of the new covenant of hope and promise.
We boldly enter into the presence of God,
hoping to be transformed into new people.
We gather as the faithful of God,
our fears melting away in the heart of God.
We come to share in the freedom of the Spirit,
we come to praise God’s holy name.
(Thom Shuman)

Call to worship
Let’s go up to the mountain
let’s go up to the place where the land meets the sky
where the earth touches the heavens,
to the place of meeting,
to the place of mists,
to the place of voices and conversations,
to the place of listening.       (Bill Loader)

Prayer of Confession/A prayer of who we are
A light beckons us, a new day rises up, around and within us
and we are afraid;
A voice calls us, echoing in the stillness,
and we are confused;
A dream wakens in us, a hope is born within us,
and then we remember that we are the beloved,
warmed by the light that surrounds us,
gathered into a community of faith,
and we give thanks.   Amen    

Introduction to prayers for others……
From a cloud, and in a crowd, God speaks to us.
Calling us to be lovers of justice, to share hope with the broken.
On mountaintops and in the valleys, Christ calls to us.
To embrace the faint hearted and bind up the wounds of the hurt
In all the places we spend our days, the Spirit whispers in our hearts.
Gathering our hopes and fears, joys and concerns,
and offering them to God.
Let us pray for the world and for ourselves……

God of all transformations,
God of all glowing faces,
you have invited us to the mountain,
invited us to glow in bright light,
dazzling white.
We accept.
Lead us on through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.  Amen (Bob Eldan)

Closing prayer
Deepest mystery of grace,
beneath, above, around and within;
on the mountain you showed your glory.
As your Spirit invites us
into new, even daring ways of following Jesus,
may our lives be parables of your love, justice and freedom
in every gesture and deed.    (Bill Loader)

May God as love dwell within us.
May God as light bring new insights and encouragement.
May God as grace take us on a journey of compassion.
May God as hope give us courage to let our light shine.

Music suggestions

Mountains and Valleys(Helen Wiltshire)   (Tune:TiS 212 Heathlands)
Stand upon a mountain peak;
hear the gravid stillness speak;
watch the golden dawn awake;
think of journeys love may take;
pause to breathe the misty air;
see God’s glory dwelling there.

Hear the words of blessing fall;
sense a presence, touching all;
feel joy stirring deep within;
see transfigured life begin;
pause to breathe a thankful prayer;
see God’s glory dwelling there.

Gaze upon the world below;
hear the cries of human woe;
take the path to valleys deep;
share the grief of all who weep;
pause to offer love and care;
see God’s glory dwelling there.

Live with mindfulness and grace;
name each vale as sacred space;
share the warmth of love divine;
see shekinah’s* beauty shine;
love the complex world we share;
know God’s glory dwelling there.    

(*shekinah – presence, blessing and glory of God)

We have come at Christ’s own bidding
1 We have come at Christ’s own bidding
to this high and holy place,
where we wait with hope and longing
for some token of God’s grace.
Here we pray for new assurance
that our faith is not in vain,
searching like those first disciples
for a sign both clear and plain.

2 Light breaks through our clouds and shadows,
splendor bathes the flesh joined Word,
Moses and Elijah marvel
as the heavenly voice is heard.
Eyes and hearts behold with wonder
how the Law and Prophets meet:
Christ with garments drenched in brightness,
stands transfigured and complete.

3 Strengthened by this glimpse of glory,
fearful lest our faith decline,
we, like Peter, find it tempting
to remain and build a shrine.
But true worship gives us courage
to proclaim what we profess,
that our daily lives may prove us
people of god we bless.
(Source: Carl P. Daw Jr, Hymnary, tune: HYFRYDOL, TiS 517)


You, Lord, are both lamb and shepherd
You, Lord, are both lamb and shepherd.
You, Lord, are both prince and slave.
You, peacemaker and sword-bringer
of the way you took and gave.
You, the everlasting instant;
you, whom we both scorn and crave.

Clothed in light upon the mountain,
stripped of might upon the cross,
shining in eternal glory,
beggared by a soldier’s toss.
You, the everlasting instant;
you who are both gift and cost.

You, who walk each day beside us,
sit in power at God’s side.
You, who preach a way that’s narrow,
have a love that reaches wide.
You, the everlasting instant;
you, who are our pilgrim guide.

Worthy is our earthly Jesus!
Worthy is our cosmic Christ!
Worthy your defeat and victory.
Worthy still your peace and strife.
You, the everlasting instant;
you, who are our death and life.
(Source: Syliva Dunstan, 1991, GIA Publications, Inc, Tune suggestions: WESTMINSTER ABBEY or PICARDY)

Jesus, take us to the mountain
1. Jesus, take us to the mountain
Where, with Peter, James and John,
We are dazzled by Your glory,
Light as blinding as the sun.
There prepare us for the night
By the vision of that sight.

2. What do you want us to see there
That Your close companions saw?
Your divinity revealed there
Fills us with the self-same awe.
Clothed in flesh like ours You go,
Matched to meet our deadliest foe.

3. What do You want us to hear there
That Your dear disciples heard?
Once again the voice from heaven
Says of the incarnate Word:
“Listen, listen ev’ryone;
This is My beloved Son!”

4. Take us to that other mountain
Where we see You glorified.
Where You shouted, “It is finished!”
Where for all the world You died.
Hear the stunned centurion:
“Truly this was God’s own Son!”

5. We who have beheld Your glory,
Risen and ascended Lord,
Cannot help but tell the story,
All that we have seen and heard,
Say with Peter, James, and John:
“You are God’s beloved Son!”
(Source: Jaroslav Vajda, 1991; tune: SILVER SPRING by Carl Schalk, posted here)

This is my son
This is my son deserving of Alleluias
Listen to him, come down and do for others
Go now you must leave though it terrifies you
Valleys await, and I will come down there with you

Though we cry,
“Stay here with us, we’ll raise you the perfect dwelling
Beyond compare befitting of all your glory
Stay here with us, we’ll raise you the perfect dwelling
And never leave this place,”
but heaven’s voice cries out compelling…
(Nathan Schleicher, Black Hatted audio)

On Holy Ground by Donna Peña (youtube listen here, tune and lyrics here)

The Transfiguration
When he took the three disciples
To the mountainside to pray,
His countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame.
Two men appeared: Moses and Elijah came;
They were at his side.
The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die.

Then there came a word
Of what he should accomplish on the day.
Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place.
A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade.
They fell on the ground.
A voice arrived, the voice of God,
The face of God, covered in a cloud.

What he said to them,
The voice of God: the most beloved son.
Consider what he says to you, consider what’s to come.
The prophecy was put to death,
Was put to death, and so will the Son.
And keep your word, disguise the vision ’till the time has come.

Lost in the cloud, a voice. Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign. Son of man! Turn your ear.
Lost in the cloud, a voice. Lamb of God! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign. Son of man! Son of God!
(Source: Sufjan Stevens; New Jerusalem Music; youtube here)



About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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