Worship Elements: February 23, 2020 (Option 1)

January 7th, 2020

Transfiguration Sunday

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 99; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9


The story of Moses’ mountain ascent to receive God’s commandments is juxtaposed with the story of Jesus’ mountain ascent when he was transfigured in the midst of his disciples. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain with Jesus emphasizes his continuity with the ongoing story of God’s journey with the people of God. Images of light, of the shining glory of God, suffuse today’s readings. As Jesus is transfigured, his face shining like the sun, we see a new world in which God establishes justice and righteousness for all.


Call to Worship (Exodus 24, Matthew 17)

As God called to Moses from the mountain,
we are called to be God’s people.
As Jesus called the disciples to climb with him
to the peak of another mountain,
we are called to follow wherever he leads.
As the disciples stood in awe at the sound of God’s voice,
we are called to worship in wonder and praise.

Opening Prayer (Exodus 24, Matthew 17)

Holy One, Light of light, God of all creation,
long ago you showed yourself
to the disciples in Jesus’ transfiguration—
his face glowing like a field of daffodils
on a bright, spring morning.
Shine in us, around us, and through us,
that the world may see your glory
in the faces of your people—
faces transfigured in the light of your love. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Exodus 24, Matthew 17)

Though we want to walk with Moses
and see God’s holy radiance,
we hide in the mist of our own desires,
unable to perceive the presence of God’s grace.
While we want a world of justice and peace,
we walk in clouds of selfishness,
unable to share God’s loving-kindness.
Though we want to follow Jesus up the mountain,
we cower in fear,
unable to bear the light of God.

Words of Assurance (Matthew 17)

In the blazing light of God’s grace,
Jesus touches us to say,
“Get up and do not be afraid.”
In the name of Christ, all is forgiven.

Passing the Peace of Christ

As we share the peace of Christ with one another,
may the light of Christ shine in you always.
And also in you.

Response to the Word (Exodus 24, Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1, Matthew 17)

Light of light, True God of true God,
as you spoke from the pillar of cloud
to Moses and the people,
so you spoke from the bright cloud
to Jesus and his disciples.
May your word live through us today,
that our world of sorrow
may be transfigured into joy.


Offering Prayer

Luminous Giver of all good things,
in your presence, everything is gift.
Bless these gifts of bread and wine,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands,
that they may nourish us
for the work of healing your creation,
in the name of Christ, our light
and the light of the world. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

Christ be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give our thanks to the Holy One.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is a right, good, and a joyful thing
always and everywhere to give you our thanks,
you who created all that is
and all that ever shall be.
On the first day of creation, you said,
“Let there be light,” and there was light;
and you called the light good.
From mountaintops to the deepest valleys,
in daylight and in the darkest shadows,
you call us to be your people.
And so, with your people on earth
and all the great cloud of witnesses in heaven,
we praise your name
and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy One, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one
who comes in your holy name.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, and holy is your child, Jesus Christ.
When he went up the mountain with his disciples,
he stood in the company of Moses and Elijah,
enveloped in the bright cloud of your presence.
When he saw that his friends were afraid,
he touched them with compassion,
freeing them from fear.
On the night in which he gave himself up
(continue Words of Institution)
do this in remembrance of me.
And so, in remembrance of your mighty acts
in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves
in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may become one with Christ,
who lived and died and rose to eternal life,
an eternal blessing for the world.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
one with each other, and one in ministry
to all the world, until we feast together
at the heavenly banquet in your eternal realm.
Light of light, True God of true God,
Spirit of holiness, we praise you now,
tomorrow, and forevermore.


Benediction (2 Peter 1, Matthew 17)

Walk in light and truth.
See the light of Christ in every face.
Be the light of Christ to all you meet. Amen.


Gathering Words (Matthew 17)

On mountaintops and in deep valleys,
Jesus is the light of the world.
On busy city streets and on quiet country lanes,
Jesus is the light of the world.
At home, at work, at play, and at rest,
Jesus is the light of the world.
Let us see one another in the light of Jesus.

Gathering Words (Exodus 24, 2 Peter 1)

A bush burns and is not consumed.
God is present among us.
A voice calls out from the clouds.
God is present among us.
A light shines in the darkness,
and the morning star rises in our hearts.
God is present among us.

Praise Sentences (Matthew 17)

Christ is our light and our hope!
Christ is our light and our hope!

From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. 

About the Author

Deborah Sokolove

Deborah  Sokolove  is  Professor  of  Art  and  Worship at Wesley Theological read more…
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