Monthly Archives: February 2018

Sermon: Remaining Steadfast in the Wilderness

It later became the place where sacrifices were regularly offered. Some 1100 years later the mountain of Moriah would be the mountain where Solomon was guided by God to build the Jerusalem temple. It would be the place where people confidently offered the sacrifices commanded by God to cover their sins. That was later. In Genesis 22 it’s just wilderness. It’s a wilderness full of uncertainty and testing.

Abraham is given a strange instruction from God. Go sacrifice your only son. Simple enough right? No, very strange. Very weird. This is the son that God gave Abraham and Sarah in their old age. The son they never should have had because of the biological limitations of old age. The son at whose birth announcement Sarah laughed because of the absurdity of it. Isaac was named laughter because of the laughability of his birth. Now the father of the laughable son is told to do something quite unfunny. Go sacrifice your only son. What a test.

God provides testings of our faith. Things He leads us to and asks of us that are quite serious and quite often unfunny. Forgive the people who have harmed you the most. Not funny, God. Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you. Not funny, God. Live in this world, be loving to the people in this world, but do not give into the things of this world. Not an easy ask, God. Believe that the words of your pastor deliver eternal life. Seems impossible, God. Take heart because you have been washed with a simple sprinkle of water combined with the name of the triune God. Seems that would not cut it, God. Enjoy the meal of immortality found in a bland wafer of unleavened bread and in the small sip of wine. Really, God?

God provides testings of our faith. He leads us through trials in this world, but he does not tempt us. We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, lead us not into temptation, and as we find in the beautiful prayer the Lord has given us, we know God’s answer is yes to each and every petition. We know that God tempts no one. Yet, we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray in this petition that we may finally overcome them and win the victory. And God says, yes. Yes, my beloved child, I will not lead you into temptation.

Yet here we are alongside Abraham in the wilderness. Abraham found himself following the unimaginable instructions from God. Early in the morning, he saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. A three day journey to the future site of the place of temple sacrifice, yet Abraham did not know this. For him it was just the place where God was asking him to do the unthinkable.

Yet God is all about doing the unthinkable. Who could imagine God dwelling among humanity. For us it seems old hat. Of course God becomes man in Christ Jesus. This is the story we have always heard. We love Christmas because of the joy of knowing Jesus dwells among us. But think for a moment about how unthinkable this is. This is just straight up unreasonable. Almighty God taking a place among sinful, hurtful, hateful humanity in order to save all. All the people who fight against God. All the people who deny God. All the people who hate God and love themselves more than anything else. God came to take up residency among his greatest enemies. And He didn’t do it with a sword or with the vengeance you might expect and all would deserve, no he came to endure trials and testings and temptations, just like every other person.

God may certainly lead us into trials and testings, but these things are for our good. Not for evil. Temptations come, many temptations come in the midst of the wilderness, in the midst of trials and testings. Yet temptations are not from God, they come from the brokenness that sin brought into the world. The devil, the things of this world, and the twisted state of our sinful human flesh all tempt us. Temptation is the lure to do something we are not supposed to do. Temptations are the easy way out of difficult uncomfortable situations. We don’t get a specific mention of it in the text, but knowing the kind of man Abraham was, I am sure Abraham was tempted to ignore God’s audacious ask.

We are tempted in the midst of our many testing and trials from God to give into the easy path. Lured to do the things we are not supposed to do. It is easy to say, someone who hurts us is undeserving of forgiveness from us. It is easy to let enemies be enemies rather than people we place before the throne of God in our prayers. It is easier to do good to our friends and the ones we love rather than to do good to those who would do us harm. It is easy to find happiness and pleasure in the things of this world which really don’t seem that bad, really especially since EVERYONE else is doing these things. It is easier to go through the motions of being a church member without dwelling on what it means that someone has stood before me in the place of God and said my sins are forgiven. It is easy to forget the gifts given to me in baptism. It is much easier and reasonable to say that the meal we will receive today at this altar is just a remembrance meal of a day when Jesus did something great rather than realizing that today Jesus is still doing something amazing through it. It is so easy to give into temptations that hound us.

Yet here we are alongside Jesus in the wilderness. Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. Forty days, Jesus filled with Holy Spirit does what God’s people had the chance to do for forty years but could not. For forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and for forty years they were continually giving into temptation. There was no happy dwelling with the beasts for them. Rather they were bitten by snakes because of the sinful disobedience of their obstinate hearts. Yet Jesus, taking His place among mankind, demonstrates what God always intends and God always enables by His Spirit. He withstood the temptations of the devil, the world, and the flesh. And he was with wild animals showing us what God will bring for us when all the perfection will be unfurled in the new world. The angels were ministering to Jesus.

We see Jesus in the wilderness and we see what Jesus came to make us be. In Christ, we are perfectly able to do the incredible. Looking at all the gospel lesson we can see some clues as to how this can be. Looking at Jesus baptism, we see God the Father, speaking of His Son as the Spirit descends and God says of Jesus His Son, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This pronouncement is key for you to be able to withstand and overcome temptation too. God says of you, “You are my beloved Child; with you I am well pleased.”

God is saying this to you today, and with this pronouncement all the schemes of the devil, all the lures of the world, and all the falsehoods of the flesh become undone. And God is perfectly able to say this to you today because Jesus road did not end in the wilderness temptations. And Jesus’ temptations did not end in the wilderness. All the way to the cross he was tempted as he faced the biggest trial any human could ever endure. Abandoned by friends. Tormented by enemies. Taunted by the devil all the way. Persecuted by leaders. Spit on. Beaten. Tortured. Nailed to a cross. All the way there the temptation to tap into His divine get out of dodge card never was played. And there it got even worse as the shame you feel for the times you gave into temptation became his shame. He who knew no sin became sin for you, by taking your sin from you. He hung there on the cross guilty of all you have done so that your guilt could be undone. He died a miserable embarrassing death in your place, the death you deserve for all the miserable embarrassing things you have done and have had done to you. And this is good news because those things are no longer yours. The shame and embarrassment that sin brings, the shame and embarrassment that Satan would love you to dwell on and to keep and to draw on for motivation for revenge and more are not yours to use anymore.

Jesus has owned these things and has left them in the tomb buried where they cannot rise again. And while your sin is gone, Jesus is not. He is risen again, showing you the way that he is bringing you. He is risen again and just as his death was supposed to be yours, now today, his new life is supposed to be yours and God makes that happen. It seems unbelievable, I know. It seems unreasonable and ridiculous, I know. But Christ has taken your place, just as the ram caught in the thicket took the place of bound up Isaac in the place that would become the temple. Christ has become the sacrifice that made good all the sacrifices of that temple. Jesus has become the one to make you good and good you are. God is able to look at you and say, “You are my beloved Child, with you I am well pleased.” And what God says God does. You are made his child in Christ. You are pleasing to God because you have Christ on you from baptism, and you have Christ in you from the holiest meal we receive here together.

All this is yous are you are driven and filled by the Spirit in the midst of this wilderness world we walk in. You’re able to withstand temptation and make it through the trials that God leads you through because you are different. You are a Christian, that is literally you are a little Christ. You do the unthinkable in the midst of the wilderness because you are kept steadfast in the wilderness by the spirit of God that fills you with and through the word of God.

Christians who pray “lead us not into temptation” do the unthinkable. We allow God to make our broken marriages work. We allow God to heal the awfullest of relationships. We allow God to work on the lives of those who have wandered far and hurt us in the process. We ask God for patience and we allow His peace to fill us. We allow God to lead us away from temptations of the flesh and the alluring perversions of the world. We ask God to lead us and allow him to drive us into the lives of others around us with the love he has given us to share with the world.

You are blessed by God with faith to believe and do the unimaginable. You are blessed to remain steadfast under trial. You will receive the crown of life because it is given to you in Jesus. It is promised to you because you love Him, having been loved first by Him. He has brought you forth by the Word of Truth, you are one of the first fruits of His creatures because you are in Christ who is THE first fruit of the perfection that God is restoring through us.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Caravaggio
The Sacrifice of Isaac (1603)

 

Sermon: Funeral of Robert Stainbrook

It was February 15th and the Stainbrook family gathered the night before for Ash Wednesday services at Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio. The year was 1945 and it just so happens that was the last time our Lenten calendar ran from February 14- April 1st as it does this year. Ash Wednesday to Easter. So it was 1945 yet, four and a half years earlier Oscar and Anna Stainbrook had brought their two sons, Robert and Richard to the baptismal font found at Trinity Lutheran Church on the corner of Vance and Ewing streets. There nine year old Robert entered into the kingdom of God through the waters of baptism. But in the year 1945, 14 year old Robert Stainbrook was in the midst of his confirmation studies. Robert was 38 days away from standing before God’s congregation and answering the following questions:

Do you believe in God the Father Almighty? Do you believe in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? Do you hold all the prophetic and apostolic scriptures to be the inspired Word of God? Do you confess the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from the Scriptures, as you have learned to know it from the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true? Do you intend to hear the Word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully? Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even to death? Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it? (LSB 272-273)

Standing before God’s people gathered around God’s gifts of immortality, Robert answered, “I do so intend by the grace of God.” And by the grace of God the Lord who always knew Robert held him tight in his God given faith for the next 72 years, 10 months, and 15 days. Last Friday was that last day Robert’s faith was needed because in the afternoon one week ago tomorrow, the time for Robert’s confession of faith to be realized had come. In Christ he had fought the good fight, in Christ he finished the race, in Christ he kept the faith. Now in place of his God given faith, he has received the crown of righteousness which the Lord will award to all who allow the Lord to carry them on that Day.

At Robert’s confirmation almost 73 years ago, his confirmation verse was John 10:27-28, in those verses we have heard again today, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” For the last 73 years, filled with the Holy Spirit, Robert never stopped listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd. He never stopped being known by the Good Shepherd, as if anyone can hide themselves from the all knowing one. He never stopped following his Good Shepherd, as if anyone who listens could ever stop following the only one that could lead them to green pastures and still waters with a restored soul in paths of righteousness.

Many many many things could have dissuaded Robert from listening to his shepherd. Many things could have led him astray: the temptations of youth, the delusions of greatness in this world, and the lies of the deceiver who tempts us to believe that God doesn’t care about us let alone know us or meet our needs. Yet God never stopped knowing what Robert needed. When his regiment was deployed to serve in the front line theater of the Korean War, Robert was spared a likely death. Many of his fellow soldiers died in battle as his regiment was decimated, yet he was spared death by the death of his mother. Anna Stainbrook had died and her Christian Burial on May 21, 1952 was arranged by our Lord and Master keeping Robert from the front lines. Robert could have despaired of his Savior’s voice at that time, listening instead to the voice of guilt that speaks to us all when we unexpectedly avoid what befalls others. Instead that  day at that funeral of his mother he heard the voice of God’s undershepherd, Pastor Mueller point to the Good Shepherd in the Words of Psalm 23

Years later Robert could have despaired of his Savior’s voice when his wife of 35 years fell ill and spent months in a coma before her death. While many would say, “where is your God? He must not care. He doesn’t know.” in the face of such tragedy, Robert knew he was being held. Years later again Robert could have despaired when his legs despaired him of their good use. “Where is your God in the face of such weakness?” Many could ask. Yet Robert knew that he would never perish of being known by the One who’s voice he was given to treasure. And yet again, years later, Robert became a statistical anomaly. In an age where women regularly outlive the men Robert once again became a widower. And instead of saying “God, who is good and gracious and loving must not be real if he continues to take those close to me.” Instead of this Robert was held by the Spirit in his faith. And the lies of the devil would not snatch him out of the hand of God.

What a good fight this man’s life was. Yet he never fought alone. The good fight is never fought alone. Following the Savior who knew him fully, Robert heard the voice of his Shepherd speaking to him from the pages of sacred scripture and through the voices of God’s undershepherds in the midst of the fight. And what he heard there might surprise you. In listening to the Shepherd, he didn’t just hear this and this and this is what you should do, dear child. No he heard something much more important, something that we all need to hear daily. In reading scripture as a faithful follower of the Good Shepherd, Robert heard, “here is what you are supposed to do, but you fail at.” He heard, “here is what I call you to be but you cannot be.” He heard God say “be perfect as I am perfect” and Robert knew the thing that we all know on some level. He knew he was not perfect, that he was as weak as grass. We all know this truth because the voice of the world, the voice of our flesh, and the voice of the deceiver all come close to proclaiming the truth. The lies come close to the truth when we hear what we cannot do well enough. When we hear the false shepherds telling us all the things we “should have” but can never have enough of. Grass that withers when the breath of the Lord blows on it. And hearing the voice of his Shepherd, he withered. Robert withered because Robert was a sinner. From birth he was broken, defiled, impure, and imperfect. Yet this sinner did not despair this sinner did what sinners following their shepherd do. He withered in the hand of a gracious and loving God. He was held from snatching in the Hand of God. Robert the sinner continued listening to God’s word, he continued listening to the only word that provides the hope that the hopeless world and the hopeless entirety of humanity in it needs.

Robert heard that God in His mercy has sent His son Jesus to die for you, and for His sake forgives you of all your sin. Robert was received by Jesus as a sinner but he was not left a sinner, he was made over and over again to be the saint God wanted him to be.

Jesus knows His sheep. He knows your suffering, he knows your grief and pain. He knows your needs, he knows your wants. He knows what tempts you and he knows what comes close to choking you out and leaving you separated from Him forever. He knows this because He endured this for you. Jesus walked this earth and faced what you face and faced what Bob faced. Yet he faced it perfectly for you, so that you may have hope. Not in what you do, but in what God has done in giving you the Word of a better life.

Roughly 75 years ago, the seeds were being sown in the heart of Bob. The seed has not been choked out by the cares of the world that seek to offer shiney solutions to our biggest problem. The seed has not been snatched away to never be heard or listened to again. The seed did not grow quickly with shallow roots only to be withered and die when the winds of this world blew on it. No the seed took root and the seed was nourished as it was watered by a daily remembrance of a baptism that continually works to save. The seed took root and was fertilized by the meal of immortality that gives strength in the midst of this trying time we lie. The seed has born fruit and the seed of faith planted so long ago in the seats of this school and the pews of this church has delivered Robert to his eternal home with the one who has kept him from snatching all the way.

Today is February 15th, seeds continue to be planted in the seats of the school going on even right now down the hall and in the pews of this church. Last night many members of the Stainbrook family gathered for Ash Wednesday service at Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio. Yet, before and after the service yesterday, many were found across Glendale paying respects to a child of God who has followed his Savior through the grave to eternity. Bob’s life of confession is a life you are called to live too. A life of listening, a life of being known, a life of following. All of this living is given to you today, as it has been given to Bob. Here we feebly struggle to know the holding of our Lord as we listen to the voice. Rober no longer just hears and knows by faith, no, now he hears and knows by sight that which he long ago confessed, you have confessed today as well.

You have said it: I believe in God the Father almighty maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his perfect son who died to deliver you from death. You believe in the Holy Spirit who calls you by the gospel and keeps you in the hand of God.

May we continue to listen to the voice of our Good Shepherd, known by Him, following Him, held by Him. Unto life everlasting.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sermon: Not Our Making — Jesus’ Only

Jesus is the Son of God, in the flesh. Jesus is the Son of God, dwelling among mankind to save the world. The past few weeks of Epiphany we have seen His glory revealed in the gifts from magi from the east, the calling of disciples, the teaching with authority, the healings, and the exorcisms of demons. All these things reveal to us, epiphany for us, that Jesus is the Son of God. Today in the Transfiguration, we reach the pinnacle of his glory revealing earthly ministry as He goes up a high mountain with Peter, James, and John.

Mountains are not peculiar places for God’s prophets. But mountains are certainly places where peculiar things have happened with God’s prophets. Moses for example went up on the familiar to him Mount Sinai while the children of God, freed from egyptian slavery waited at the base of the mountain. Moses went up and met with God. This time here, he didn’t receive a message from God in a burning bush, but rather the 10 Commandments from God. In Exodus 34, after coming down, we learn Moses had to veil his face to shield it from the gaze of the Israelites. Moses’ face was fading from the Godly glow it received in the sanctified sunburn on the mountain top. Peculiar indeed. Moses found himself in the presence of God on the top of Mount Sinai.

Elijah was familiar with mountain tops as well. Remember his peculiar mountain top experience where he threw down against the prophets of Baal? Remember, the “God contest” of olympic proportions? The people of God were limping between faithfully standing with the one true God and lamely chasing after the false gods of the false prophets of Baal. So Elijah on the top of Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18 sets up a come to Jesus moment offering a contest. The sacrifices are laid on the altar and the false prophets are given the first attempt to have their god light a fire in answer to their prayers. No answer. Their false god was not just indisposed, he was non existent and the fire did not come. Then on the mountain top, Elijah raised the stakes and said saturate the sacrifice. Cover it with water, and water and more water. And with a simple prayer Elijah prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God.” And after his prayer, the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and the water in the trench around the Altar. Peculiar indeed. Elijah led God’s people back to the one true God on top of Mount Carmel.

Well wouldn’t you know it these two mountain men make their appearance to the disciples on the top of the mountain with Jesus. But we are getting ahead of ourselves with that. So, Jesus miracle man, teacher, healer, demon defeater takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain alone. And there Jesus is transfigured. He isn’t changed, he is transfigured. It’s not like Jesus on the top of this high mountain becomes something he had never been before. No, when Jesus is transfigured before them, that which he has always been from eternity is now revealed. The Son of God in the flesh allows the veil of humanity to be slightly lifted to demonstrate that which was always there as he is fully God and fully man.

Right before the disciples’ eyes the purity and power and glory of God flow forth into their field of vision as his clothing becomes intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. No, this is not a Tide Ad, but now we are ready for Elijah with Moses to enter the scene and they do. They just appear. No chariot taxi from heaven, just a simple appearance and a simple conversation with Jesus. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the fulfillment of the promises prophesied from of old is now talking with the old prophets who were for all other intents and purposes long gone. Yet these who pointed to Christ’s coming now come and speak with the one they longed for.

Peter, never at a lack for words, is now terrified along with James and John and doesn’t know what to say. And not knowing what to say, he is not quite scared speechless and isn’t at a lack for words as he says, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

Terrified Peter offers to do what terrified sinners find themselves doing over and over again when faced with uncertainties. When we are afraid we want to make things. We make excuses. We make assumptions. We make plans. We make mistakes. We make messes. As sinners when faced with uncertainties, we stop listening and start making.

Think about it. What is the last thing that really scarred you? And what was your response? Now, I am not talking about the sudden unexpected event that causes your survival instincts of fight or flight to kick in but the sinful response of making for ourselves is not far off these instinctive reactions. But, what is it that really frightens you? Is it fear of finances? Not being able to make ends meet for yourself or for your family? Is it fear of failing health? Is the diagnosis going to be the death of me? Is the cancer going to take it all out of them? Is it fear of being hurt by others? Is it fear of being found out as a fraud? Fear that people will know you are not as good as you let on to be on the outside? Are you afraid of being a disappointment to those around you? Is it a fear of the loss of those closest to you through death? What really frightens you, and how do you react?

Well, chances are you are like Peter. Chances are you are a sinner like him, a sinner like me. When you are terrified, you really don’t know what to say. You may not even realize you don’t know what to say, because you are quick to make plans, you are quick to make excuses. You are quick to make assumptions. You are quick to make mistakes.  Not knowing what to say you make your plans saying I can do this. This diagnosis is something I can manage one step at a time. I can get through this. I can make this work. Not knowing what to say you make excuses saying, well if the bills stopped coming for a month, if the rates stopped going up, if I was paid what I was worth, I would be able to make ends meet. Not knowing what to say, you make assumptions saying things like, God loves me too much to let me hurt so I can leave this person who will not change. Or maybe you make assumptions, saying this person who mistreats me will change if I am nicer to them. You make assumptions saying to yourself, if I keep up appearances enough, if I do enough good, the people I am worried about disappointing will not know how bad I am. You make many things, many mistakes, to avoid the reality of the terrifying things in this world.

We all want to make things. Peter wanted to make tents. He was terrified by the unknown. Terrified that His rabbi Jesus was talking about dying. He was terrified about the whispers of the plots against Jesus. He was terrified to leave the mountain and go back to the murky path they were on. He wanted to make a different path by making tents, so they could just stay with shiney Jesus, resurrected Moses, and reappeared Elijah on the mountain.

Well, here’s the truth, anything we make is never going to last. Anything we make will leave us worse off than the uncertain, terrifying thing we are afraid to face. Yet we are never left to face the uncertain terrifying things alone. It may be cloudy and unclear but the thing we need when terrified, the thing we need when we cannot see continues to be there for us. The voice is there for us.

Right after Peter said what he said about it being good to be there, about building three tents. Right after Peter said these things when he didn’t know what to say, a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice comes out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” God the father in heaven breaks the silence of uncertainty and speaks the certain word the disciples needed to hear. God breaks the silence and speaks the certain word we need to hear, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.”

Looking around, they no longer saw Moses and Elijah — Moses and Elijah were not gone, they were just returned to the pages of scripture that contains their Spirit inspired words. The disciples were left to see only the word made flesh and they were left with nothing they could make, but the only thing they needed — they were left with Jesus the beloved Son of God, the one they were to listen to.

When we listen to Jesus we find the only thing we need in the face of terrifying things. Peter wanted to avoid the death of his teacher. He wanted to avoid the persecution of the leaders of the day. He wanted to avoid the future that Jesus was laying out for them, but God spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” And in hearing Christ, Peter was made new again and again and again.

So too in hearing Christ you are made new again and again and again. To borrow words from St. PAul in 2 Corinthians 3-4 We have this hope and this hope makes us bold. Not fearing or uncertain of the end, but with hearts made new in Christ we do not lose heart. We renounce the disgraceful — that is things we make apart from the grace of God, we renounce the disgraceful, the underhanded ways in which we would seek to make our own way away from sin. We are led by the Spirit to repent of our own making in order to be made new by the one who was made sin in our place. Jesus did not continue shining but returned to His humble appearance and humbled Himself even further to the depths of death and the grave in order to make things right between you and the Father. In Christ we have all things made for us. This is what Jesus says to you. Behold I am making all things new. He speaks it to you today through the words of Moses, when Moses says with his face veiled, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Behold I am making all things new, he speaks to you through the words of Elijah who says, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”

Christ continues to do what Christ came to do. He stops your making. He keeps you from making excuses. He keeps you from making assumptions. He keeps you from making plans. He keeps you from making mistakes. He keeps you from making messes. He keeps you from all these misguided makings by making them His own. He takes all of your makings as His own and makes all things new so that you are no longer left listening to your own disgraceful, underhanded words. He keeps you from proclaiming not yourself, but rather now makes you to confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Jesus alone makes you to be God’s servant. His light shines in your heart to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

So we keep on listening and we keep on being made to be disciples. And now in Christ Jesus we are not left with nothing to make, but we are now filled with the voice of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and in Him we make disciples of all nations. We recall in our baptisms that we are made to be children of God we are made brand spanking new. Something we have never been before. It is different than Jesus’ transfiguration where what He always has been is simply revealed in his glorious appearance. No God’s remaking of us makes us to be something we have never been before, something we could never make ourselves to be on our own. He makes us to be like Christ. Transforming us again, and again, and again, day by day until that last day when the glory we hear in Christ is revealed for all the world to see.

May we listen as Jesus alone makes it so for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.