Sunday before Lent X 23rd February 2020 Matthew 17.1-9 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” _______________________________ This is a really important reading for us to hear today. To understand why, we need to look at the very first sentence: ‘Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.’ There is one other occasion on which Jesus takes these three people aside to be with him at an important moment? It’s in the Garden of Gethsemane. As he prays in terror and anguish before his arrest, Jesus asks Peter, James and John to watch over him. He would have known that that would be very hard for them. And so, part of Jesus’ motivation for selecting these three disciples to go up the mountain with Him in today’s passage was, I dare say, so that they would have a powerfully glorious image to hold on to in those dark moments in Gethsemane. We, as a church, are about to enter into the discipline of Lent. We don’t expect to face anything in Lent as extreme as Jesus and His friends did that night in Gethsemane, but, we are about to enter into a time of discipline, self-examination, and repentance, and so this reading gives us a hope-filled reminder, an assurance, of Jesus’ glory and majesty. This event atop of this mountain – possibly Mount Tabor – is often called ‘the transfiguration,’ because, as Matthew says, Jesus is ‘transfigured’ before them. But this maybe isn’t the best word to describe what happens here. Does Jesus actually change before their eyes? Or, does He rather reveal who He really is? In this wonderful moment, Peter, John, and James, get as good as glimpse as is possible this side of eternity of the beauty, the majesty, the wonder of God Himself. For that is exactly who Jesus is; God Himself. And He is always God Himself, whether teaching in a crowded house, up on the mountain, or up on the cross. So this event is not so much Jesus changing in any way, but allowing His divine nature to quite literally shine before them. Now, where do we see God shining today? In what parts of our world, of our parish, of our community of faith, do we see God shining? I don’t know how many of you have ever come across wristbands and other merchandise that ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’ This isn’t a bad question to ask, but I would suggest that a better question to ask when going into a situation or place is: ‘What is Jesus doing?’ In what way is God’s love and transforming power already at work, even if it’s not immediately dazzling and obvious? Here in the parish of Clay Hill, let me promise you that God is at work. God is at work through so many of us as individuals, and us as a collective community. When we host people in the night shelter, God is at work. When young people take joy in being here, God is at work. And unseen pastoral encounters are taking place, with individuals who are not part of this congregation, God is at work. There is so much going on through the work of the Holy Spirit that many of us will have no idea about. Indeed, some of us have come to be part of this church having experienced God’s love and benefitted from this community being here before we were part of it ourselves. This is what Jesus is doing. He is working through this community. My challenge to you all today is, are you wanting to support Jesus in His work here? By offering your God-given skills and knowledge? By offering your time? By offering your financial commitment to our stewardship scheme? By offering your wisdom by serving on the PCC? The transfiguration reminds us how glorious our Lord is. But let’s not forget that that same Lord chooses to dwell within us, in the power of the Spirit, and chooses to work through us, to build His kingdom and accomplish His work. Please consider how to answer that call. Because if we do, we will enjoy more and more glimpses of His love and glory. It may not always be shiny white clothes and dazzling faces – in fact, God’s love is often to be found in the places that look nothing like that. But when we experience it, and see it at work, God’s love is worth giving everything for. What will you give, so that our community continues to be blessed by countless, sometimes hidden, always wonderful, transfiguration moments? How will you reflect God’s glory?
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The PCC of our parish of St John and St Luke, Clay Hill values your privacy and wants you to understand the choices and control you have over any information that we may hold about you. To help explain those choices and give you that control, please read our parish Privacy Notice which take into account the new requirements of the GDPR.
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Sunday before Lent X 23rd February 2020 Matthew 17.1-9 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” _______________________________ This is a really important reading for us to hear today. To understand why, we need to look at the very first sentence: ‘Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.’ There is one other occasion on which Jesus takes these three people aside to be with him at an important moment? It’s in the Garden of Gethsemane. As he prays in terror and anguish before his arrest, Jesus asks Peter, James and John to watch over him. He would have known that that would be very hard for them. And so, part of Jesus’ motivation for selecting these three disciples to go up the mountain with Him in today’s passage was, I dare say, so that they would have a powerfully glorious image to hold on to in those dark moments in Gethsemane. We, as a church, are about to enter into the discipline of Lent. We don’t expect to face anything in Lent as extreme as Jesus and His friends did that night in Gethsemane, but, we are about to enter into a time of discipline, self-examination, and repentance, and so this reading gives us a hope-filled reminder, an assurance, of Jesus’ glory and majesty. This event atop of this mountain – possibly Mount Tabor – is often called ‘the transfiguration,’ because, as Matthew says, Jesus is ‘transfigured’ before them. But this maybe isn’t the best word to describe what happens here. Does Jesus actually change before their eyes? Or, does He rather reveal who He really is? In this wonderful moment, Peter, John, and James, get as good as glimpse as is possible this side of eternity of the beauty, the majesty, the wonder of God Himself. For that is exactly who Jesus is; God Himself. And He is always God Himself, whether teaching in a crowded house, up on the mountain, or up on the cross. So this event is not so much Jesus changing in any way, but allowing His divine nature to quite literally shine before them. Now, where do we see God shining today? In what parts of our world, of our parish, of our community of faith, do we see God shining? I don’t know how many of you have ever come across wristbands and other merchandise that ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’ This isn’t a bad question to ask, but I would suggest that a better question to ask when going into a situation or place is: ‘What is Jesus doing?’ In what way is God’s love and transforming power already at work, even if it’s not immediately dazzling and obvious? Here in the parish of Clay Hill, let me promise you that God is at work. God is at work through so many of us as individuals, and us as a collective community. When we host people in the night shelter, God is at work. When young people take joy in being here, God is at work. And unseen pastoral encounters are taking place, with individuals who are not part of this congregation, God is at work. There is so much going on through the work of the Holy Spirit that many of us will have no idea about. Indeed, some of us have come to be part of this church having experienced God’s love and benefitted from this community being here before we were part of it ourselves. This is what Jesus is doing. He is working through this community. My challenge to you all today is, are you wanting to support Jesus in His work here? By offering your God-given skills and knowledge? By offering your time? By offering your financial commitment to our stewardship scheme? By offering your wisdom by serving on the PCC? The transfiguration reminds us how glorious our Lord is. But let’s not forget that that same Lord chooses to dwell within us, in the power of the Spirit, and chooses to work through us, to build His kingdom and accomplish His work. Please consider how to answer that call. Because if we do, we will enjoy more and more glimpses of His love and glory. It may not always be shiny white clothes and dazzling faces – in fact, God’s love is often to be found in the places that look nothing like that. But when we experience it, and see it at work, God’s love is worth giving everything for. What will you give, so that our community continues to be blessed by countless, sometimes hidden, always wonderful, transfiguration moments? How will you reflect God’s glory?
Our most recent sermons

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Your privacy is important to us

The PCC of our parish of St John and St Luke, Clay Hill values your privacy and wants you to understand the choices and control you have over any information that we may hold about you. To help explain those choices and give you that control, please read our parish Privacy Notice which take into account the new requirements of the GDPR.
St John the Baptist Theobalds Park Road Enfield EN2 9JF St Luke the Evangelist Phipps Hatch Lane Enfield EN2 0HG Our Churches
tel: 0208 363 6055 email: revpetergodden@outlook.com
Registered Charity Number 1151418
PCC of St John w St Luke, Enfield
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