Sermon for 14 February 2021

Sermon Light of Love Transfiguration and Valentines

There’s a story about a man who found a Genie and was looking forward to the 3 wishes. The Genie informed him that due to covid cutbacks he could only have 1 wish. The man asked for a bridge from Vancouver to Hawaii. The Genie replied that that was too extreme and for the man to request another wish. The man then asked the Genie to explain why we fall in love with certain people. The Genie replied “How many lanes do you want that bridge”

There are certain things in life that we can’t explain, like, what is love? The scripture passage this morning is another thing that is difficult to explain; the transfiguration of Jesus.
Today is Transfiguration Sunday and also Valentines day
They are strongly connected.
They are connected by the word “Radiance” or “Light”

To understand the light of the transfiguration, you just need to watch a person light up when the person they love enters the room.

The story of Jesus transfiguration has a lot of symbolism. It happens on the day of the Feast of the Tabernacles or Feast of the Booths commemorating the time the Jews spent in the desert. It is usually celebrated in the fall. The disciples offer to build 3 tents, one for Jesus; one for Moses and one for Elijah. The two Old Testament characters represent the law and the prophets coming together in Jesus. But the main event is that Jesus becomes brilliantly white; translucent. He radiates intense light. . He transfigures into the pure form of God or Love, for God is love.

The fact that this is celebrated on the day when they remember their wilderness reminds me of an expression “You say you want to disappear but really you want to be found”

Even though the dates are really six months apart the celebration of Valentine’s Day fits in well with Transfiguration.

It’s all about the power of love. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment he said “love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself. He didn’t say get the greatest army or have the most money or own the biggest possession. It was summed up in one word “Love”.
If you remember the story of his temptations, he could have been anything but he chose to be the power of love in our world.
Jesus transfiguration was him becoming one with God. Jesus became the light of love
.
When you see someone who is in love, there is a certain light about them. Even if they are not “in love” but just a loving type of person, there is a light or warmth about them.

The BeeGees had a song called “To love Somebody”. The opening line is “There’s a light. A certain kind of light” He is upset because that light isn’t shining on him but he recognizes that the love is this powerful light.

While love is powerful it is not easy. To love can be the most difficult thing to do but it is worth it. Jesus says “No greater love has anyone than this that they lay down their life for their friend” Jesus laid down his life for our freedom. He lay down his life so we would understand that love cannot be overcome.

Love relationships may not turn out the way you want them to. Ego, the need for control, insecurity, anger and many other things can get in the way but if you love someone, even if they are not with you, you care about them.
When you think about it, Jesus loved the world and he got crucified but he never stopped loving.
Martyrs get killed because they love.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer was led to the execution chamber they say his face radiated light. He found that even death could not quench his love.

When someone tells me they don’t believe in the spiritual, I tell them that they can’t believe in love. Love is the ultimate spiritual experience.

So we venture into the final part of this sermon in the traditional Valentines way with poems and saying about love.
Listen and let the message of love permeate your heart this day.

I would suggest that we follow the pattern of Jesus statement.
FIRST: LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD.
I would include creation and nature;

Vincent Van Gogh: If you truly love nature you will find beauty
everywhere
Angie Weiland-Crosby
Along this earthen wonderland /My heart falls in green love
As I gaze awestruck to the trees / Sharing grace from above
Frank Lloyd Wright Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It
will never fail you.
Unknown: The universe loves you
Unknown I love nature as much as I love myself.
Catherine Pulsifer: No matter what, no matter when. God’s love is
unconditional
Lao Tzu (founder of Taoism)Love the world as your own self then you
can truly care for all things
John 4: 16. God is love and all who live in love, live in God and God
lives in them.
James 1: 5 If any of you lack wisdom you should ask god who gives
generously to all without finding fault
Unknown: Love of self may falter, Love of others may fail but the love
of God is never ending
1 Corinthians 13: 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and
love. But the greatest of these is love.

2 LOVING OTHERS
Louisa May Alcott : Love is a great beautifier –
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: I love you not only for what you are but
for what I am when I am with you.
Unknown: I saw that you were perfect so I loved you. Then I saw that
you were not perfect so I loved you even more
Aristotle: Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies
Mahatma Ghandi :Where there is love there is life –
Tom Hanks: There is no substitute for a great love that says, no matter
what’s wrong with you, you are welcome at this table.
Madonna: To be brave is to love someone without expecting anything
in return.

3 LOVE YOURSELF
Franklin Jones: Love doesn’t make the world go round, Love is what
makes the ride worthwhile
Lucille Ball: Love yourself first and everything else will fall into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world
Katherine Hepburn: Love has nothing to do with what you are
expecting to get.- only with what you are expecting to give – which
is everything
Sophocles. One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that
word is love

GENERAL
George Burns Love is a lot like a backache. It doesn’t show up on an
Xray but you know it’s there.
Albert Einstein: You can’t blame gravity for falling in love
Helen Keller The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be
seen or even heard but must be felt with the heart.
Nothing better than being loved

Are you the light of love in your world? Are you the radiance that gives people hope? God is love / Love is God
Love is the most powerful force.
It changed the look of Christ it can change the look of you.

PRAYER
God just as Jesus was and is the conduit of love into our world, so help us to allow love to flow through us. Just as Jesus was able to love inspite of adversity and even death, so to help us overcome all obstacles with that love. God just as you are the author of love help us to keep the story going until every person place and thing has discovered the power and the beauty of pure love. If we cannot find love in any situation, help us to bring it. Help us to be it.
There is no other way for this world to be the vision you hoped for. Help us to dethrone the darkness of war and hatred and bring the light of love in its place.
We pray for those in special need this day:

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE Feb 14, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers; Aubrey, Cheryl and Cathy

Opening Prayer
Hymn – 104 We Have Come
Scripture Mark 9: 2-9
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 565 Love who made Me vs 1,5,7
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks