Worship Elements: February 23, 2020 (Option 2)

January 7th, 2020

Transfiguration Sunday

Color: White or Gold
Scripture Readings: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 99; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9

Theme Ideas

Transfiguration Sunday is the last Sunday before Lent. It is a time to celebrate the revelation of Christ to people of faith, a time to connect the glory of God revealed to Moses on Sinai to the glory of God in Christ revealed to Jesus’ disciples. It is also a time of transition from Jesus’ work of teaching and healing to the journey of Lent. Themes could center around transformation, patriarchs and prophets (possibly including modern prophets), the mountaintop, one more mountain to climb, glory, and images of Christ.

Call to Worship (Psalm 99)

The LORD is Sovereign.
Let the people tremble in awe.
God is enthroned between the cherubim.
Let the earth shake.
The LORD is great in Zion.
God is high above all peoples.
Come let us worship our glorious Lord.

Contemporary Gathering Words

Let the radiance of Christ be evident among us:
in our songs and our words;
in our deepest thoughts and desires;
in the youthful and the experienced,
the exhausted and the energetic;
in the hungry and the scared.
We are here together.
We join our voices and our hearts in praise.

Contemporary Gathering Words

We gather as witnesses to the transforming power of God.
Gather us in, God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Praise Sentences (Psalm 99)

Holy is our God! Mighty is the King of kings,
the lover of justice.
God has established justice and righteousness.
Extol the LORD our God. Worship at God’s footstool.
Holy is our God!

Opening Prayer (Matthew 17)

Holy God, who revealed the Messiah on the mountain,
fill us with praise, overflowing with cheers
and mysterious visions.
Light our way; direct our course; and energize us,
for we have one more mountain to climb,
through Jesus Christ, who is the light. Amen.

Opening Prayer (Exodus 24, Matthew 17)

God of the mountaintop and of the plain,
we remember today the Transfiguration of Jesus.
Glorious, mysterious, and shimmering with light,
you know our hearts, our triumphs,
and our disasters.
Take us as we are; love us as we are;
join with us and transform us into your holy ones.
Amen.

Benediction

Hear the words of hope set to music by Mozart:
“The sun’s golden splendour now sunders the night,
And shatters the power of the evil one’s might.”
Let us live, die, and rise in the image and power of Christ.
Amen and Amen.
(Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Magic Flute [Bryn Mawr, Pa.: O. Ditson, 1888], quoted in Susan A. Blain, ed. Imaging the Word, vol. 2 of Arts and Lectionary Resource [Cleveland: United Church Press, 1995], p. 141)

Benediction

When Jesus’ glory is revealed to us,
we become transformed.
We are not who we were before.
Go now to your homes, your neighborhoods,
your schools, and places of work as new people.
Go as Christians illumined by the glory of God in Christ.
Be renewed and be radiant.

Visual and Dramatic Suggestions

Throughout the service pairs of people could portray transformation. This would occur unannounced, at various preplanned points throughout the service. With two large screens overlapping to create a path to exit in the center (dark fabric over a PVC pipe frame could work) the following pairs could image transformation:
From the left, a limping man with a cane walks halfway across the altar then disappears behind the screen. From behind, he reenters, without the cane, skipping or dancing.
Same sequence; a woman enters with a large water bottle, disappears, and then reenters with a bottle of wine.
A young girl enters, carrying a ukulele, and disappears behind the screen. Then from behind, continuing across, a woman enters, carrying a guitar.
Two children enter, fighting with toy swords (portraying an Israeli and a Palestinian). They reenter as friends, arms around each other’s shoulder.
Other pairs: Old person transition to young, someone carrying a heavy burden reenters without the load.


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

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