Sermon – 02-14-21 – Transfiguration Sunday – Cycle B
Scripture: 2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9
Sermon Title: “Let Light Shine Out Of Darkness”
The electricity wire is cut somewhere. Our house becomes totally dark except for battery-operated gadgets. There is disappointment, maybe panic. What were we in the middle of doing? Will the project be a failure now? Were we working toward a deadline? Is someone on oxygen? So light is not the only lost commodity. It could be life itself that is lost. Losing our power is big!
In the beginning all was darkness. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit chose to change that. They are the ones with the power. Total darkness gave way to the light from the ball in the sky called the sun. The following stages of creation needed the light to flourish. There is power in light! Nothing remains unchanged if it stays in light!
Things fade, crack, melt, burn, or become ill when left in the relentless heat and rays of the sun. On the other hand, seeds will not sprout without the sun; solar panels would be useless.
I only know the very basic principles of light as it flows into the realm of chemistry and physics and even then I tend to be confused. I just know how I use light and how I am very uncomfortable when it is absent from my surroundings. I sleep with more than a night light. Constant light. It is not that I fear the dark, I just like to see.
I do confess that being in my house on a sunny day can be unpleasant to my sense of cleanliness. The sunlight coming in the windows to the east moving around to the windows in the west reveals all the dust and dirt. How I would enjoy a spotless and uncluttered house! I remember when my house was like that! I asked God what else there is in life. He gave the rest to me but took away time to clean! We can’t have everything and I am eternally grateful for the new life God gave to me!
Also, the light that I don’t like is the winter morning and afternoon sun shining in my car windshield. Then everything becomes black because of too much light. Fancy that! I believe lots of car and pedestrian accidents happen because people are blinded by the sun glare. Too much light! Being in the sun too long can cause skin cancer or, at the least, sunburn. Some people cannot sleep in the light. Being in a closed car in the summer takes the life from whomever or whatever is in the car. The sun can be devastating! Being in a desert, especially without water, can bring an end to life.
Light from the sun has the ability to purify – to kill bacteria and germs! Light helps our bones. Special light can heal skin problems. Sun can produce Vitaman D. But the light of Jesus shining into our hearts can find things that need to be swept out of the dark corners and destroyed. The light of Jesus can purify our hearts – also our minds!
Why is light the focus of this sermon to this point? Today we are observing Transfiguration Sunday when Jesus’ whole countenance was transformed into light, it radiated light. Glory is the word that fits here. The glory of God!
You heard that Jesus invited three witnesses to accompany him: Peter, James and John. Jesus is not the only participant in this drama. Making short appearances are Moses and Elijah. Now hear this! Moses was born in 1526 B.C. and died in 1406 B.C. but no one knows where he is buried. Elijah was born in 875 B.C. and never died. He is the one who was swept into heaven in a chariot with horses. So Moses and Elijah lived at different times. They did not meet each other on earth. Moses represents “law” as he was given “The Ten Commandments” by God. Elijah was a strong prophet for God.
For me, their appearance with Jesus connects the prophecies in the Old Testament with the fulfillment in the New Testament. It is one of the connecting points. However, this occasion is a highlight of connections. It seems like an ordination to me. Witnesses from the past. The glowing Jesus. Three people to carry the mission forward. And the voice of the Father from the skies saying again, “This is my beloved son. In him I am well pleased” just as at the Baptism in the Jordan River. But this time, the voice says, “Listen to him.” Authority bestowed!
Peter wants to make this moment last long. He wants to build little shelters for these three honored people. The dazzling white does not last long. Moses and Elijah do not stay long. It is time to leave the mountain, Jesus having rejected the idea of shelters. Jesus knows he has work to do. The light will come again after Jesus serves his sentence – a sentence of death. That is darkness. When Jesus is involved, darkness is brief. The light emerges from the darkness.
How close can the light come to us? Can the light of Jesus absorb or chase all of our darkness? Should we measure the amount of light we consume at any one time? You know like making our money last longer or our food? Does it work that way? Or is the light of Jesus more like vacation days – if we don’t use them, we lose them? It depends on our personalities. It depends on how great our need for light is. Well, rejoice my friends! The supply of light from Jesus is endless – no end! It is not a restricted commodity like water. The light of Jesus does not dwindle and finally disappear.
The light of Jesus is not only around us! It is not just something we can see! This light finds its way into our interiors – our minds, our muscles, our lungs, and right into our hearts! This light chases Satan and his demons from their hiding places in our minds and hearts where they like to tempt us or hamper us. This light does not depend on electricity moving in wires. This light does not depend on electricity in batteries. This light is free-flowing from the source – Jesus!
The secret is we need to keep the light moving – not letting it become stagnant. No! This light needs to be shared along with love. Can we depend on God to keep the flow active or do we need to actively keep the flow moving – Jesus to us, us to the near person, us to the far persons! Wherever we are, there should be an aura of light with a contented expression on our faces. We should be like the moon to the sun. We can’t develop our own light. We need to shine because we are absorbing and then reflecting the light of Jesus!
Our reflecting light is an invitation to anyone who does not have the light. Phillip P. Bliss wrote these words: “Come to the Light, ‘tis shining for thee! Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me; Once I was blind, but now I can see – The Light of the world is Jesus.”