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Bright, Shining Faces


Theme: The glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus. Transfiguration Sunday - Yr. C
Object: The children's song: "Good Morning to You"
Scripture: And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Luke 9:29 (NLT) For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT)

This morning I was thinking about a song from my childhood that we used to sing to start the day at school. The song was called, "Good Morning to You" and it goes like this: (Sing it if you can.)

Good morning to you,
Good morning to you.
We're all in our places
with bright, shining faces.
Good morning to you,
Good morning to you.

Isn't that a happy song? I'm not sure that our faces were always bright and shining, but I hope they were!

That song serves as a good reminder of what happened in our Bible lesson for today. The Bible tells us that one day Jesus took three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John and went up on a mountain to pray. As Jesus was praying, his face was changed and his clothes became a dazzling white. Suddenly, two men appeared and began talking to him. Do you know who the two men were? It Moses and Elijah.

Peter and the others had fallen asleep and when they woke up, they saw Jesus and the other two talking. They were amazed at that wonderful sight! As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter said to Jesus. "Master, it is wonderful for us to be here! Let's build three shelters — one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

At the very moment Peter said that, a cloud appeared and cast a shadow over them and a voice came from the cloud saying, "This is my Son, listen to him." When the voice had spoken, Moses and Elijah were gone and the disciples were once again alone with Jesus on the mountain.

What an experience! Do you know what caused the face of Jesus to be changed and his clothes to become dazzling white? It was because they were in the presence of God! Did you know that God wants our faces to shine brightly just as the face of Jesus did on that very special day? The apostle Paul said in a letter he wrote to the church at Corinth, "For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

You and I have many wonderful experiences in our daily walk with Jesus. Others should see that we have the love of Jesus in our heart by seeing his reflection our bright shining faces!

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the joy we experience in Jesus Christ. Help us reflect that joy in our bright, shining faces. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Citation: Inspiration for this lesson was provided by Fran Woodruff's excellent lesson on her website "On the chancel steps." For a different approach to this lesson take a look at her "Bright, Shiny Faces."

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An alternate sermon based on Luke 9:28-38: "Mountaintop Experiences"
An alternate sermon for Epiphany 5-C Luke 5:1-11: "Go Fish"
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