This Sunday is Transfiguration
Sunday. We remember Jesus on
the mountain top with three of
his disciples. Jesus is in dazzling
white and Moses and Elijah join
him. This is Moses’ opportunity
to enter the promised land after
all those years of leading the
people of Israel. It is Elijah’s
opportunity to return after being taken to heaven in a fiery chariot. They talk to
Jesus about Jesus’ own departure from this life.
Outside of the resurrection, this is the pinnacle moment in the ministry of Jesus.
He is shone to be God’s “Chosen, Listen to him”. It is as if the door of heaven was
opened. Have you experienced moments life this? When the gates of heaven
open upon our lives.
As a pastor, I experienced them and had others share about those moments. The
gates of heaven seem to open most wide when troubles or death are near as they
were for Jesus.
One such occasion for me, was in visiting a young man with cancer who was loved
upon by that congregation and by the staff at Scripps Children’s Hospital in San
Diego. The youth of our church would visit him there and play games. He was a
Steelers fan and as a part of Make a Wish, Franco Harris visited him as well.
He had a difficult childhood. He was abandoned by his mother when she
remarried and raised by his grandparents. He was not a “saintly” youth. He had
troubles at school and did not do excel academically. Yet, through it all he
understood his value as a person.
Near the end of his young life, his great aunt came to visit. She was there 24/7
with him, just as she had been for his grandmother when she died.
A fellow pastor had traveled down to see him with me and asked about the gate
of heaven. The pastor had lost his mother but before she died, she had a vision of
heaven. So, he asked if the door of heaven had opened for this young man? He
replied that he had a visit from his grandmother, who stood behind the shoulder
of great-aunt. It was a reassurance amid all the medical machinery.
How have the gates of heaven opened for you? They are ever opening. Jesus’
message was: “The Kingdom of God is near.” The three disciples who were with
Jesus on that mountain top saw it open. Peter asked Jesus if they should build
three booths on the mountain top to remember that moment in time. Indeed,
today three chapels stand at the mountain top.
Jesus does not answer Peter. Instead, he lets God do the talking. From the cloud
comes the voice with the words reflecting Jesus’ baptism: “This is my Son, my
Chosen; listen to him.” We cannot build a chapel with a door to heaven in it. But
we can listen to the words spoken over us in baptism that, we, too, are children of
In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul talks about Moses having to veil his face from the people
of Israel because it shone so brightly from his meeting with God. Many of the
people who see the door of heaven open are reluctant to talk about those
experiences. It is so other worldly. They shine too brightly. But they do help us
anticipate what is on the other side of the door.
This week we took care of our son’s dog who is keen on making sure everyone in
the house is accounted for. So, when Connie left to go shopping, all was not well.
When the garage door opened on her return and before Connie came through the
door to the garage. The dog was waiting. Without seeing her, she knew she was
Transfiguration moments are rare, and we cannot build a door to them in a chapel
on a hill. But we can, as Paul urges, look in the mirror, with unveiled faces and see
reflected there a transformation happening. We are becoming what we shall be,
by the working of the Spirit. Look closely in the mirror, look closely at life and you
can sense the coming of our Brother, Jesus, even before he enters the room. The
gates of heaven are open and transforming us.
Open our eyes Lord, help us to look in the mirror and see your Spirit transforming
us into a reflection of what we shall become, children of God. Thank you that the
gates of heaven are open to us. Grace and Peace, Pastor John
Lent begins March 2 with our Ash Wednesday worship at 7 pm in the Sanctuary.
We will have Bible Studies and Soup Suppers on Wednesdays March 9 –
April 6. Our current plan is to have them in the upper level fellowship hall,
so we can socially distance. The Adult Bible Study will be on our personal
Spirituality relating to the Apostle’s Creed.
We need people to sign up to bring soup each week. There is a signup list in the
Fireside room.
YOUTH Confirmation Class continues this week. There are lessons to take home if
you miss a week. Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let
us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
WELCA – Next gathering will be March 5.
Pantry – February 26.
Choice Dollars with Thrivent.
Did you know that eligible members of Thrivent Financial have been able to
designate over $55 million to charities by directing Choice Dollars? Such funding
can help support our church – $526 has come in thus far. Don’t let Choice Dollars
expire. Eligible Thrivent Financial members who have Choice Dollars available
from 2021 have until March 31, 2022, to direct them. Go to
thriventchoice to learn more. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice”
after the prompt.
2021 Statement of Activity – copies are available in the narthex. Sorry we did not
have them available for the Semi-annual meeting. They show a deficit of $12,677
for the year. Most of it is due to the costs of reopening the preschool. They are
now self-supporting and contributing to the church. Together with your continued
financial support the budget is coming into balance.
• Continued prayers for Jeanne Koenig has a sinus infection still lingering in
spite of antibiotics.
• Pat Motschall burned her hands and George is recovering from a blood
• Kim Guevara is back in Canada visiting family members who are ill.
• Steve Cady is recovering and was able to join us in church
• Bill and Judy Martin were with us in church. Their daughter, Laura,
continues her chemo treatments by pill till June and is back working parttime.
Continued Prayers for:
• Geri Witwer who is still retaining water and still having trouble breathing.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack and
Rebecca, daughter of Michael and Ann Shea.
• erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
• Heather, our preschool director, is having some health issues which have
been postponed.
• Judy Mishoe’s sister, Jayne, was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, and
has a 90% chance of recovery. Nice to have Judy in church with us.
PRAYER & CELEBRATION TEAM Jeanne & Connie have agreed to make calls to
our members and friends. They will be calling to get prayer concerns, updates on
health and other issues. We are also going to be adding a Celebration section.
So, think of all your good news and we will share it as well.
Upcoming DATES
SUNDAY WORSHIP @ 10 am. live stream and recording available on our website.
Refreshments after services now.
• February 27 – Transfiguration Sunday.
• March 2 – Ash Wednesday, service will be in the sanctuary @ 7 p.
• March 9 – The other five Wednesdays of Lent, we will have soup suppers
with an Adult Bible Study on our personal Spirituality and the Apostle’s
Creed, in the upper-level Fellowship Hall.