It has been a few weeks since I have had the energy to write a Sunday Reflection. It has been a busy time and by Sunday afternoon I am ready for sleep and lots of it! I continue to preach through Matthew 5 – 7 Matthew’s Sermon on the Sermon of Jesus. In the next few weeks I will turn these into a series of posts. Folks at church are saying this is the best series I have ever taught. Funny thing is, it is also the toughest I have ever preached. Go figure!
I do not like “Vision Sundays”. They seem to me to be little more than an opportunity for pastors to whip people into some kind of religious zeal in order to achieve the church’s vision for the next 12 months. In some ways they are the church’s version of those old US army posters that say, “I want you for the US Army”. I cannot find any justification in Scripture for such a day. Our church, any church for that matter, has a vision. It doesn’t need to come up with a new slogan every 12 months in order to do what God wants it to do Our vision is the same it has been for over 2000 years. The “vision” is simple: Christ and him crucified!
What I do like is the idea of celebration. The bible, the Old Testament especially, is full of celebration. There are numerous feasts in the Bible which celebrate the activity of God in and amongst his people. Jesus celebrated his last supper with his disciples. This is the model we are provided in Scripture and the one we will seek to follow.
Today was our church’s ‘Celebration Sunday’. An opportunity for God’s people to recognise God’s faithfulness. It is an opportunity to look back over the past 12 months and the past 30 years and remember what the Lord has done in and through us. We remember the good times and the hard times and give thanks for God’s faithfulness. My grounding texts were Joshua 4:1-9 and Matthew 17:1-9. Our second reading could not be any more perfect for today. It is the lectionary reading for Transfiguration Sunday.
This year myself and the elders are going to help you follow Jesus faithfully. We don’t want to get you involved in church in order to push the church’s vision. We want you to follow Jesus faithfully! As we encounter Jesus we encounter God and experience the presence of God; God with us. That is our prayer!
Peace be with you on this Transfiguration Sunday.