I Corinthians 15:12-58, Luke 9:28-36
Today, we gather during worship with the death of Jason Fuhr on our minds and hearts. We’ve read the Story of Jesus’ Transfiguration a week early, because it is a wonderful story for us today as we consider death, and life, and life after death.
Let’s think about this past week.
Sociologists describe 5 universal expressions of grief:
If you know someone well enough that you feel grief because of their death, then you will feel all five of these expressions during your journey of healing. Everyone feels all these things. The trick is, that there is no time table, and no order, to these expressions. One person might be depressed for a day and shocked for 5 years, while another person might be shocked for a day and depressed for five years. These are expressions that are not moral: that is, it is not right or wrong to feel these, we just feel them when we greive.
These are human reactions, and therefore appropriate. When done well, they lead to healing. It is not wrong to feel them, but like a conversation, if you raise them, you need to listen and be ready for a response.
Let’s think about today.
Worth-giving to the Most Worthy:
Story of the Transfiguration:
--Jesus, Peter, James and John go up the mountain to pray.
--Jesus prays, his face lights up and clothes brighten.
--Two appear: Moses and Elijah: The Giver of the Law and
the Prophet. The law and the prophets, tell the story of
Israel’s salvation. The Messiah was an Israelite.
--They are there to talk about death, specifically, Jesus’ death
at the hands of the roman authorities.
--The disciples are awakening to this presence of Jesus.
--In fact, Peter likes it so much he suggests they stay. But
his good feelings are suddenly surrounded by an
enveloping cloud, and they were afraid. And God speaks:
This is my son, whom I have chosen. Listen to him.
This story is important because the disciples saw and heard the voice of God and the transformation of Christ.
In his second letter to the church, Peter writes: We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Peter continues to write, that our response to this majesty of Christ, “we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
Jesus was more than a teacher, or a good guy. He was the Lord. And Peter, James and John saw that, and believed it. And eventually told people about it. They saw the glory of God.
Service of witness to the resurrection
We will gather at Lambertville and use that space to bear witness to God’s power and future promise of resurrection. Jason will be raised on that last day, as the Apostle’s Creed reminds us “We believe in the resurrection of the dead”.
Our job today is to worship God in that service. If you are singing, sing with your whole heart. If you welcome or talk with neighbor, to do that well. If you are helping with the meal afterwards, that you do so to give God glory.
Sharing a meal.
The meal becomes a place where healing can be nurtured. Use this time to tell the stories about Jason that you love, or to see old friends and neighbors.
Let’s think about the future.
Our future is transformation. It is very human to grieve. And being human is allowed. But we grieve, not out of despair, but because of hope.
1. to change in composition or structure
2. to change the outward form or appearance
3. to change character or condition
Witness to the Resurrection? I Corinthians
1. Resurrection is real, otherwise (12-19)
2. Christ has been raised, a forerunner to our resurrection, and is in process of putting enemies away. (20-28)
3. Resurrection should change our behavior (29-34) see Transformation Definition #3
4. Death precedes resurrection in the natural world (35-41)
5. Resurrection bodies (42-49), bearing the image of Christ see Transformation definitions #1, 2
6. There is mystery, but the story ends in victory through Christ (50-57)
7. Order to life (58)
Our future is the transforming power of God.
we are being transformed into Christ’s likeness, with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
II Corinthians 3:18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.
II Corinthians 5:17