February 14, 2021

Transfiguration of Our Lord
February 14, 2021
11 Old York Road ~ Ringoes, NJ 08551
Mary “JJ” Simpson-Keelan, Pastor
Shannen Hemmel, Musician
Christine Peterson, Lector
Terry Welsh, Videographer and Editor
In this time of world-wide crisis, Living Waters Lutheran Church respects the guidance of our Bishop and government agencies and therefore calls the faithful together for a time of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving through on-line venues. Because we love God and neighbor during a time of rising COVID cases and increasing spread, we choose to behave cautiously. To help tend the public health during this pandemic: (1) Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. (2) Wear a face covering. (3) Wash your hands, and regularly clean surfaces. (4) Reduce exposure time to areas with potentially high aerosol concentration, (5) Limit group encounters. (6) Encourage everyone who feels sick or uncomfortable/vulnerable in group settings to please stay home and consult a healthcare provider.
The church is all God’s baptized people. Those who worship, pray, study, and connect for fellowship and service from their homes are very much “the church”. The Good News of God’s reign continues to be fully proclaimed with power and authority on-line in this new time.
The Sundays after Epiphany began with Jesus’ baptism and end with three disciples’ vision of his transfiguration. In Mark’s story of Jesus’ baptism, apparently only Jesus sees the Spirit descending and hears the words from heaven. But now Jesus’ three closest friends hear the same words naming him God’s Beloved. As believers, Paul writes, we are enabled to see the God-light in Jesus’ face, because the same God who created light in the first place has shone in our hearts to give us that vision. The light of God’s glory in Jesus has enlightened us through baptism and shines in us also for others to see.
P: Blessed be the Holy Trinity + one God,
whose voice is upon the waters,
whose mercy is poured out upon all people,
whose goodness cascades over all creation.
C: Amen.
P: Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Holy God,
C: you search us and know us.
You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin—
our own sins and the broken systems that bind us.
We turn inward, failing to follow
your outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resources
and fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues,
you know them;
receive them in your divine mercy.
P: How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power and promise of ? Christ Jesus,
our sins are washed away
and we are claimed as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness,
we are called to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice
and the Spirit’s reconciling peace.
C: Amen.
P: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
C: The light shines in the darkness, the darkness has not overcome it.
P: Those who lived in the land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
C: We have seen Christ’s glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
P: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given.
C: In Him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
P:        Almighty God, the resplendent light of your truth shines from the mountaintop into our hearts. Transfigure us by your beloved Son, and illumine the world with your image, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C:         Amen
HYMN OF PRAISE: ELW 314 "Arise, your light has come"
1          Arise, your light has come!
            The Spirit's call obey;
            show forth the glory of your God
            which shines on you today.
2          Arise, your light has come!
            Fling wide the prison door;
            proclaim the captive's liberty,
            good tidings to the poor.
Text: Ruth Duck, b. 1947 Text © 1992 GIA Publications, Inc
First Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12
Today’s reading centers on the transfer of power and authority from the prophet Elijah to Elisha. Their travels, which retrace the path of Joshua back to Moab (the place where Moses died) and the parting of the waters, demonstrate that Elisha and Elijah are legitimate successors of the great prophet Moses.
1Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”
4Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”
6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
The spotlight of Christian ministry is not on the people who carry out ministry but on the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as God made light shine at creation, God makes the light of Jesus Christ shine in our lives through Christian ministry.
3Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
VIDEO PASTOR           
Gospel Acclamation
C: Alleluia. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” Alleluia. (Matt. 3:17)
Gospel: Mark 9:2-9
Mark’s gospel presents the transfiguration as a preview of what would become apparent to Jesus’ followers after he rose from the dead. Confused disciples are given a vision of God’s glory manifest in the beloved Son.
2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.         
HYMN OF THE DAY     ELW 315 "How good Lord to be here"
1          How good, Lord, to be here!
            Your glory fills the night;
            your face and garments, like the sun,
            shine with unborrowed light.
2          How good, Lord, to be here!
            your beauty to behold
            where Moses and Elijah stand,
            your messengers of old.
Text: Joseph A. Robinson, 1858-1933, alt.
P: People of God, what do you believe?
C: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty
maker and owner of all things
seen and unseen-known and still undiscovered.
P: People of God, what do you believe?
C: We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God.
Through him all things were made.
P: People of God, what do you believe?
C: We believe that Jesus came for us
and for our salvation.
He became human.
He suffered death and was buried.
P: People of God, what do you believe?
C: On the third day he rose again,
He ascended into heaven.
We believe that he will come again
and his kingdom will have no end.
P: People of God, what do you believe?
C: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the giver of life,
who works as one with the Father and Son.
We believe the Holy Spirit is at work
in the Old Testament and the New.
We believe the Spirit of God is constantly at work
in and through the church.
Children of God, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace with God and one another. The peace of the Lord be with you always.
We share with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us: ourselves, our time, and our possessions. Living Waters is a generous people offering ourselves to God and neighbor, and with the Church through all the ages, giving thanks for the saving love in Jesus.
P: O God,
receive these gifts as you receive us:
like a mother receives her child, with arms open wide.
Nourish us anew in your tender care,
and empower us in faithful service
to tend to others with this same love,
through Jesus Christ, our saving grace.
P: On this last Sunday after Epiphany, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all people in need, responding to each petition with the phrase, “Alleluia! Amen.”
A brief silence.
P: O God of light, we pray for communities of faith around the globe, for our own congregation, for our pastor(s), and for all Christians who cannot gather for communal worship. Show us your face in the darkness, and speak your word of power to all the faithful. Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: O Morning Star, we pray for the earth, for life forming in the dark earth and ocean depths, for creatures seen and unseen, and especially for the animals who require cold and ice. Give us your Spirit’s guidance in our stewardship of the planet. Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: O Sun of righteousness, we pray for our nation’s elected leaders, for attorneys and juries, and for all who work for justice in our land. Give to them all integrity in service and courage to choose what is right. We pray for our citizenry, that prejudice cease, that resentment about the election wane, and that violence be averted. Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: Beautiful Savior, we pray for all who suffer from Covid-19, for medical workers, and for all who await the vaccine. We pray for those enduring famine, for those experiencing homelessness, for the people of Yemen, and for all who live in war zones. We pray for all who are ill, for all who receive no medical care, and for those we name here before you:
Peter’s family grieving
Eric Sr and Suzanne
Mary Anne
Heal them with your loving might. Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: Love divine, we pray for those who especially on this Valentine’s Day feel lonely, for those who are abandoned, and for those who must live apart from their dear ones, especially for the children separated from their parents at our nation’s border. Embrace all who are alone with your care. Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: Shine, Jesus, shine, also on me, and receive the petitions of my heart.
A longer period of silence.
Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: We remember before you all who have died in the faith, especially the missionaries Cyril and Methodius and the reformer Martin Luther, and for those we name here before you. . . . Be with us in our every darkness, until at our end we join with the saints in your everlasting light. Hear our prayer, O God:
C: Alleluia! Amen.
P: O holy Trinity, Light-Creator, Light of Light begotten, and Light-Revealer, receive our praise and hear our prayers, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
C: Amen.
P:         Let us pray with confidence in the words our Savior gave us:
C:         Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
P: Do not be dismayed by the brokenness in the world.
All things break.
And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you
C:        Amen
P:         Go in peace. Be the light of Christ
C:         Thanks be to God
VIDEO SENDING SONG                                                                                                                   
SENDING SONG ELW 318 "Alleluia, Song of Gladness”
1          Alleluia, song of gladness,
voice of joy that cannot die;
            alleluia is the anthem
ever dear to choirs on high;
            in the house of God abiding
thus they sing eternally.
2          Alleluia you are sounding,
true Jerusalem and free;
            alleluia, joyful mother,
            bring us to your jubilee;
            here by Babylon's sad waters
mourning exiles still are we.
Text: Latin hymn, 11th cent.; tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-1866, alt.
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From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23228 New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Hymns and songs reprinted under the permission of CCLI.com #11169728, streaming #20576443
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