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Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6, Cycle B

“Lord God, mercifully receive the prayers of your people. Help us to see and understand the things we ought to do, and give us grace and power to do them; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It is in the portions of The Prayer of the Day for this Sunday that are italicized above that we see the unifying factor in the four texts selected for this day. Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Syria, needed help from the Lord God through Naaman’s own servants before he could understand the things that he should do in the cleansing of his body from leprosy in the 2 Kings 5:1-14 Elisha story.

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  • SermonSuite Special
     
    SermonSuite
    Chris Keating
    Super-Sized Spectacles of Faith
    Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)

    It’s not just Super Sunday -- it’s a super-sized extravaganza, the zenith of all gargantuan sporting events, America’s highest holy day of the year... complete with celebrities, glamour, 10,000-calorie-per-serving nachos, million-dollar television commercials, and (of course) football.
         Whataday. What-an-amazin’ day.
         The Super Bowl, and all the hoopla that leads up to it, is nearly a national holiday. This year’s event features a stylistic contrast in the quarterback matchup as Peyton Manning meets Cam Newton, with a side of Beyonce, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay at halftime. It is also the game’s golden anniversary, fittingly hosted by San Francisco’s Golden Gate hospitality. Two teams stretch toward the coveted Lombardi trophy -- but in many ways, it is much, much more than just a game.
         Coincidentally, this year it’s also a day when we recall a different dazzling spectacle. Jesus’ mountaintop transfiguration demands our attention this week in a way that surpasses even the best football game. The NFL may have Manning and Beyonce, but they’re no match for the celebrity posse Jesus summons on the mountain. As if his stunning costume change -- no wardrobe malfunction here -- was not enough, Jesus brings along Moses and Elijah for cameo appearances. God’s thunderous theophany caps the show, terrifying the already dumbfounded disciples.
         Set down the nachos: here is a glory far surpassing the ersatz hype of the Super Bowl. Jesus’ spectacular moment of transfiguration is the real Super Sunday -- and we’d do well to heed God’s call to pay attention to what is happening. Like the disciples, we might just be “astounded at the greatness of God.”...more
    Transfiguration / Fully Awake

    Invocation
    Gracious God, how wonderful that you grant us glimpses of the Holy, eyes that allow us to see if but for a moment the eternal. It is your expectation that by faith we receive these evidences of your power into our lives, that we discern your will, your purpose for each of us. You would thus have us appreciate life - life as we have been blessed to know it on earth, life as it is promised in your eternal realm so glorious as to be beyond our present comprehension and grasp. With life around us and before us, we pray that we be kept on the Way, your Way, O God, of grace and truth, in order that we grow into the full and complete children of the Holy that you mean us to be. Guide us this hour into a greater understanding and a deeper communion. This, in Jesus' name. Amen....more
    Kathy Venkatesh
    Looking back, looking forward, resting where we are
    Today’s story of the Transfiguration, heard each year on the Last Sunday of Epiphany, invites deep reflection on the nature of our life with God. We may wish to look back to the original Epiphany story of the magi and consider how God gives us companions for our journeys. We may wish to look forward to the season of Lent and the demons that await us, as they did Jesus and the disciples, when we come down the mountain. Or we may simply wish to linger a moment and celebrate the glory of God, as it appeared to Moses, Paul, and the disciples in our readings today, and as it appears in our own lives of faith....more
    Keith Hewitt
    The Shining
    Luke 9:28-36 (37-43)

    “Look, can you keep a secret?”
         I looked at him sharply; his eyes couldn’t seem to rest on anything for more than a moment, and there was worry in them.  His face was stiff -- he probably thought it was an unreadable mask, but after three years I’d learned to read it pretty well.  I shrugged.  “If it’s that you can’t buy the next round because you left your money in your other clothes, I already know -- you never have any money.  I’ve got you covered.”
         He rewarded the jab with less of a smile than it deserved; it went away as quickly as it had come.  “No.  But thanks.  It’s just that -- “  He paused, looked around the room to see if anyone was paying attention; they weren’t.  No surprise.  We didn’t go out like this very often, but when we did it was to the kind of place where people didn’t pay attention.  When he had reassured himself he looked back at me.  “You know how, in the Torah tells us that Moses had to wear a veil after he encountered the Lord, because of how his face shined?”...more
    Janice Scott
    The Holy Grail
    This is a story about a boy who is tormented by bullies, but his life is transformed when he makes a special discovery. He has to negotiate a dark and scary tunnel to make his discovery, but the discovery enables him to find inner strength and purpose which he hadn't realised he possessed....more
    Cynthia Cowen
    Dazzling White
    Object: a toothpaste whitener
    The Point: Jesus makes us dazzling white
    The Lesson: Good morning, boys and girls. Thank you for joining me as we share God’s word today. I brought with me today some toothpaste. (show the toothpaste) This toothpaste has a tooth whitener in it. The toothpaste will help to not only clean my teeth but also make them whiter. It is important to brush your teeth every day so that you will have clean healthy teeth. This toothpaste will help make your smile gleam with whiteness....more

Author of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen

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