1 - According to one calendar, today is a time for flowers and
chocolate, when we pay attention to the heart of our
relationships. It is Valentine’s Day.
2 - However, according to another calendar, it is also
Transfiguration Sunday. The beginning of Lent is
three days away on Ash Wednesday, a season of confession
and repentance, when we pay attention to the heart of our
relationship with God.
1 - Celebrating Transfiguration Sunday is like standing
upon a mountain overlooking the path ahead which travels down
into a valley.
2 - On the opposite side lies another ridge. There we see a tall
mountain, its summit sunlit above the clouds. There lies the
heart of our Gospel message, with a cross and an empty tomb
1 - At the heart of our relationship with God;
2 - at the heart of all our human relationships, is Christ
1 - Sometimes this is clear as a bell to us.
2 - At other times, we struggle to see him.
1 - Just like fog can easily encompass a high place, so our
ability to perceive Christ’s presence can be clouded over.
2 - Even so, we keep following, step by step.
1 - Let’s turn to our sourcebook, where we seek the heart of
what’s really real.
2 - We will together read the 99th Psalm, which is on
page 520 of our pew Bibles.
1 - Now, there are only two of these Bibles per row, so we’ll
truly need to draw near to one another in order to share, as we
read from the same translation.
2 - Let’s divide this reading into verses,
1 - with the left side of the sanctuary (your left, not ours)
reading the first verse.
2 - The right side will follow with verse 2,
1 - then the left on the 3rd verse,
2 - and the right … well, you get the idea.
1 - Please rise in body or spirit and let us get to the heart of
1 The LORD reigns;
let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the
2 The LORD is great in Zion;
and he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name!
Holy is he!
4 Mighty King, lover of justice,
thou hast established equity;
thou hast executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Extol the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!
6 Moses and Aaron
were among his priests,
O LORD our God, thou didst answer them;
Samuel also was among those who called upon his
They cried to the LORD, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloudy;
they kept his testimonies,
and the statutes that he gave them.
thou wast a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9 Extol the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!
Revised Standard Version