Reader's Theater: The Transfiguration

Transfiguration by Cornelis Monsma

Transfiguration by Cornelis Monsma

Reader’s Theatre: The Transfiguration
Traditional Version
Based on Mark 9:2-8 (NRSV)
In this setting, you have the option of sandwiching the reading between the song His Name is Wonderful by Audrey Mieir
United Methodist Hymnal #174
CCLI # 1122230

ALL SINGING: His Name is Wonderful
by Audrey Mieir
United Methodist Hymnal #174
CCLI # 1122230

Instruments continue during the reading.

NARRATOR
Six days after a discussion about his identity with his disciples, Jesus led Peter and James and John up a high mountain. They were apart from the others, by themselves.

Jesus was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. Elijah and Moses appeared. They were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus,

PETER
Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

NARRATOR
Peter did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice,

OFFSTAGE VOICE
This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him!

NARRATOR
Suddenly when the disciples looked around, they saw no one with them, only Jesus.

ALL SINGING: His Name is Wonderful
by Audrey Mieir (United Methodist Hymnal #174; CCLI # 1122230)

compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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Reader’s Theater: The Transfiguration
Contemporary Version

Based on Mark 9:2-8 (NRSV)
In this setting, you have the option of sandwiching the reading between portions of the song Filled With Glory by Lisa & Michael Gungor (CCLI #4624295).

ALL SINGING: Filled With Glory
by Lisa & Michael Gungor (CCLI #4624295)
Verse 1 twice, chorus
Instruments continue during the reading

NARRATOR
Six days after a discussion about his identity with his disciples, Jesus led Peter and James and John up a high mountain. They were apart from the others, by themselves.

Jesus was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. Elijah and Moses appeared. They were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus,

PETER
Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

NARRATOR
Peter did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice,

OFFSTAGE VOICE
This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him!

NARRATOR
Suddenly when the disciples looked around, they saw no one with them, only Jesus.

ALL SINGING: Filled With Glory
by Lisa & Michael Gungor (CCLI #4624295)
Verse 2, chorus twice, bridge 4X, chorus twice

compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Quotes: Be the Change

Be the Change 3 by Noah Smith

Matthew 6:10 (NRSV)
Your kingdom come. Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth. – John Wesley

I said Somebody should do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody.
– Lily Tomlin

There are some things in our social system which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I suggest that you, too, ought to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of mob-rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the evils of segregation and the crippling effects of discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic inequalities of an economic system which takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating method of physical violence. I call upon you to be maladjusted… the world is in desperate need of maladjustment. Through such maladjustment we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man into the bright glittering daybreak of freedom and justice. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Birju Pandya believes there are 4 ideas you have to believe if you seek to “be the change you wish to see in the world”:

  1. Real change requires patience: It takes time to move others through love (rather than by carrot or stick), but the results are real and lasting.
  2. Real change is decentralized/local: The revolution will not be provided by governments or corporations.
  3. Real change cannot be traditionally measured: We are a society that believes strongly in measurable cause and effect. However, the world doesn’t work that way — each result is born of millions of conscious and unconscious acts.
  4. Real change is never complete: Each person in society is a seeker. As nobody has all the answers, it is incumbent on all of us to humbly support each other in being better people.

Is there some part of you that has become bound—that recognizes what is holy and craves its blessing, but fears the change that would be involved? Is there a habit, a belief, a relationship, an aspect of your life that has you in its grip that confines you, that limits the freedom with which you move through this world—perhaps without your even realizing it? Can you imagine what release would look like? Is there a destructive force at work in a person or system or institution you’re connected with, that you might be called to engage? Can you identify a first step that would help you confront what confines you or those around you?- Jan Richardson, The Painted Prayerbook

May the Spirit of Life move you from apathy to action,
from observing to doing, from despair to hope.
May the Spirit of life bless you
with both the pain and the joy of change –
the change the world needs,
the change for which you pray,
the change you are becoming through Jesus Christ.
– Sam Hamilton-Poore, Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation

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For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Prayer for a Broken Heart

Sacred Heart 3Prayer for a Broken Heart
ONE: Psalm 51:17 (NRSV)
The sacrifice acceptable to God
is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

Dr. Steve Harper reminds us, “broken and contrite hearts– hearts pulverized (meaning of the Hebrew) down to a powder, so that the Breath of God can blow us in divine directions.”

Time of Silent Confession

ALL:
Break my heart, O God.
Crack it that I may see what you see
Crush it that I may love as you love
Grind it that I may want what you want
Press it that I may serve as you serve
Take it and make it your throne
make it your home,
now and always, Amen.

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© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Seeking a Whole Heart

My Whole Heart by Dan Couvrette

The word salvation means wholeness,
and this is what we are to seek for in our love of God, neighbor, and self.
– Steve Harper, Finding the Bridge

Worship Resource:
Seeking a Whole Heart

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
United Methodist Hymnal
#298, verse 1, 2, 4

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

ONE: Psalm 86:11 (NRSV)
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

ALL: Psalm 86:12 (NRSV)
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.

Be Thou My Vision
United Methodist Hymnal #451, verses 1-2

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word,
I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart
Great God of Heaven my treasure thou art

Prayer for a New Heart
By Dag Hammerskjöld
United Methodist Hymnal #392

ALL:
Thou who are over us,
Thou who art one of us,
Thou who art:
Give me a pure heart, that I may see thee;
a humble heart, that I may hear thee;
a heart of love, that I may serve thee;
a heart of faith, that I may abide in thee. Amen.

Lord, I Want to Be a Christian
United Methodist Hymnal #402

Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart;
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart.

Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart.

Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart.

Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart.

Click Here for a wonderful prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The Heart of Christ

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compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Really Listening to Others

listening-by-meganne-forbes

Listening by Meganne Forbes

James 1:19-21 (NRSV)
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

Proverbs 17:27-28 (NRSV)
One who spares words is knowledgeable; one who is cool in spirit has understanding. Even fools who keep silent are considered wise; when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.

When you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it. -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning,
that without listening speaking no longer heals,
that without distance closeness cannot cure.
– Henri Nouwen

One thing I cannot stand is when people say, “Hi, how are you?” and they don’t wait to hear how I am. They’re just going through the motions. I say to people: “Keep it human. Keep it alive. Don’t turn into a robot.” You have to hear what the other person is saying clearly. You have to listen, and really care, because we’re all the same under the skin.
– Judith Jamison, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves. — Albert Guinon

To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. – Mark Nepo

If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.
— Turkish Proverb

Mark 4:9 (NRSV)
And Jesus said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Sirach 5:11-12
Be quick to hear, and be deliberate in answering. If you have understanding, answer your neighbor; but if not, put your hand on your mouth.

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.
The best way to understand people is to listen to them. — Ralph Nichols

The first duty of love is to listen.- Paul Tillich

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. — Karl Menninger

To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.
Peter Senge

I discovered—working with my students and working with them working each other—that there is an actual spiritual discipline, and work, of listening to another person, particularly when they disagree with us. And that requires that we step back from our own ego, from our own opinions, and let the other person in. Not to agree or disagree, but simply to let their thought into my own mind. And when I step back from myself in that way, I begin to be a much more moral person. There’s a relation that establishes with another human being. – Jacob Needleman, professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University

Extended quote by Steve Harper entitled Covering Our Ears
Stephen was stoned because the angry crowd covered their ears (Acts 7:57). It was all over after that. It still is.

When we stop listening, we stop relating. When we stop listening, we cease learning. When we stop listening, we lose perspective. When we stop listening, we define reality solely on our terms. And once we have done things like this, we can convince ourselves to do anything necessary to “defend the cause” and “maintain righteousness.”

In Stephen’s case, it meant the crowd felt justified in taking matters into their own hands. And that made it all right to drag him out of the city with their hands, pick up stones with their hands, and throw them with their hands–until he was dead.

Stephen’s greatest vision became grounds for his execution. People who had said “thou shalt not murder” many times in the synagogue, now cried, “kill him” in the street. And that’s what happens when we cover our ears.

For an excellent article by Dr. Gail Brenner entitled Master the Art of Listening and Watch All Your Relationships Thrive, click here

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For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.