A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary - February 15

Sermon (February 15) - "The Different Robes of Jesus: Shining Robe"

Colossians 3:12-17

When Paul wrote this letter, he was most likely in a prison in Ephesus. This was a new church and Paul wanted them to continue to grow and bear fruit.

This scripture is being used for this Sunday because it speaks of putting on the clothes of being tender-hearted, kind, meek, and humble. Our Lent series which is beginning a week early on this Transfiguration Sunday is focusing on the different robes of Jesus. This passage from Colossians helps us to think about how God is calling us to put a shining robe of all of these characteristics of the Christian faith.

Like a wild horse that has been tamed, we too are called to put on the clothing of these characteristics so that we can be the people and the church that God has called us to be.

Mark 9:2-9

This is the transfiguration story as told by Mark. It also serves as the first robe in our Lenten series on the different robes of Jesus. Here, we focus on the shining robe of Jesus. This story of the transfiguration helps us to see the fuller reality of the presence of God.

Peter wants to prolong this moment by connecting it to an ancient Jewish festival known as the Festival of Booths.

By taking the disciples of a high mountain, he is helping them to see a new view of God's kingdom. This story of Jesus' transfiguration reminds us that there are more mysterious layers of reality in our world than we care to admit.

The presence of Elijah and Moses with Jesus is to show us that Jesus was continuing the work that began with these great prophets from the Old Testament.  This isn't a story about Jesus' divinity since Elijah and Moses were also transfigured and we don't think of them as divine.

Jesus' shining robe shows us that Jesus is radiating in the love, power, and authority of the kingdom of God that is breaking into the world in a new way.  The voice from heaven confirms that Jesus is the Messiah. It was expected that Elijah would be the forerunner of the Messiah. John the Baptist served this role for Jesus so he was like Elijah in this sense.

What does it mean for us to wear the shining robe of Jesus where we radiate the glory and love of God's kingdom which is coming to earth?

[Note: The resources used for these scripture reading commentaries are based on the Everyone series by NT Wright, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, The Wesley Study Bible, and the “Montreal-Anglican”lectionary commentaries.]

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