Reader’s Theater: The Transfiguration
A simple script for three voices based on 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).
The Glory of God’s Reign
For a traditional worship setting, Psalm 99:1-5, 9 (NRSV) is combined with the classic hymn Immortal Invisible God Only Wise (United Methodist Hymnal #103). For a contemporary worship setting, the scripture is woven into Chris Tomlin’s powerful song of adoration, How Great Is Our God (CCLI #4348399). This worship resource would also be suitable for the last Sunday of the Christian year, Christ the King Sunday, also known as The Reign of Christ.
Transfiguration Meditation by Steve Garnaas Holmes
A wonderful line by line reflection on the transfiguration text. Helpful as a sermon starter, for personal devotion, or a prayer during worship. It would be very easy to turn this meditation into a worship liturgy or a reading for multiple voices.
Prayer based on Mark 9:14-29, Jesus healing a boy possessed by a destructive spirit
Answer us, Great God of Justice,
Lord of Hope
Bringer of Change and New Life
Finish your good and generous work
Release us from
the chains of this moment, born of imprisoned years
the distractions and false calls of those who cannot help
the apathy keeping us from seeing, speaking, and caring
the smallness of your Kingdom stealing our courage to try
the slowness of your Kingdom chipping away at our enduring
We believe, help our unbelief
Raise us from our comas to stand with you
Release our petified voices
Deliver us of our demons
You have made us new
You are making us new
You are making all things new
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NRSV
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Jesus, you are gentle, lowly, vulnerable.
You choose to be with us in our weakness.
You win the world with your love, sacrifice, and humility.
Your power is made perfect in
our honesty with our dusty condition
Free us from posing as experts with all the answers.
Free us from silver tongued speech and human wisdom.
Let us know nothing with certainty other than the eternal truth
that you are the Anointed One, the Liberating King,
who was crucified on our behalf.
We entrust the message you have given us back into your hands.
We rely on your Spirit to demonstrate your power
that our faith and the faith of those we serve may be rooted in you alone.
Classic New Year’s Resolutions
1. Exercise, eat right, lose weight
2. Quit smoking, drinking, drugging
3. Get serious about my spiritual life
4. Budget, pay off debt, save for the future
5. Organize my house
6. Organize my calendar so I can do more in less time. If I keep my scheduled focused, I can work more efficiently, do more things in less time.
1. Makes me feel important, needed
2. Keeps the adrenaline pumping. You can be addicted to stress.
3. Hurry keeps everything on a safe superficial level. Depth takes time. I don’t have to look closely at my relationships or my situation or my soul. I don’t have to feel my feelings fully. I’m fine as long as I’m busy. No, we’re not fine we’re sick.
Hurry Sickness – an unhealthy, continuous internal drive to accomplish more, achieve more, experience more in less and less time. More and more has diminishing returns. It keeps us from living well and ultimately destroys our soul.
John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted
For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith.
It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.
Do you want a life like this, or do you want something different?
Jesus offers an alternative.
Mark 6:30-32 NRSV
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
Jesus’ Cure for Hurry Sickness is Ceasing
Ceasings = Solitude, Silence, Slowing, Sabbath
Ceasing distraction and noise and trying to do it in our own strength
Ceasing hurry. Ceasing in order to seek.
Jesus practiced ceasing regularly throughout his ministry
1. At the beginning he spent 40 days alone in the wilderness and at the end he spent the night in Gethsemane before crucifixion
2. Spent the night alone in prayer before choosing the disciples
3. Time away after the death of John the Baptist
4. After feeding the 5000, after healing a leper, after the 12 returned from preaching/teaching
Verse 31 says they were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. That sounds like us.
Jesus was busy, but never hurried
Busy = full schedule, many activities, demanding
Hurried = unhealthy inner drive, keeping up appearances, proving yourself
Hurry is based on fear and worry.
Hurry is constantly preoccupied, never fully present.
Busy = constantly reminded of God and my need of God
Hurried = unavailable to God
Vance Havner said, “If you don’t come apart for a while, you will come apart in a while.”
Jesus’ Cure for Hurry Sickness is Ceasing
Solitude Silence Slowing Sabbath
Creating space to listen. Trusting God will provide.
Stopping the self medication stimulation, distraction, and society scripts
Allowing God to hit the reset button
How to practice ceasing?
Quiet time, quiet place
Little ceasings throughout the day
I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.