A Sermon for Last Sunday after Epiphany at the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C.

Ex 34:27–35
2Pe 1:16–18
Mt 17:1–9

I have a dream!

This might be one of the most famous quotes in history.

I have a dream! Said Martin Luther King and in his famous speech he talks about his dreams and visions for equality and a brighter future.

This speech was delivered in front of 250.000 people and it must have been a radiant moment in all their lives. These words have transfigured so many people.

We might not have been there to witness Martin Luther King, but I am sure we can all remember big moments from our own lives, radiant moments where we just felt and knew how this was a very special moment in our history.

Great moments in our lives, maybe not together with 250.000 people and maybe we did not have moments that will be remembered by generations; but still radiant moments like having a child or getting married or celebrate a success, a big achievement. Even private moments can be radiant; like standing on a mountain top enjoying a breathtaking view or the first time we did something big on our own life as a child. Crossings a big street as a child for the first time without someone to hold on to is something most people can remember.

Just think of a moment when you felt absolutely radiant; why was this?

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Today we hear how everybody could see on the face of Moses how he was radiant from spending time with God and we hear how Jesus and his friends had a radiant moment on a mountain top in God’s presence.

And we hear how Peter really wants to keep and hold on to this moment. He has a dream, a dream to hang on to this special moment forever! 

Peter suggests building shelters on that mountain, so that they all can stay there and enjoy this moment forever.

And how do we hang on to special radiant moments? We can all see how Peter’s suggestion is very sweet but also a little silly. You can not build a shelter and store a radiant moment in there forever.

A radiant moment is like a piece of wet soap, when you hold tight and try to hold on, it just slips out of your hand.

Today’s Bible moments tell us about radiant experiences; Moses climbed a mountain to spend time with God. And it was such a big moment that when he returned, and others saw him, his face was shining.

So, we can ask ourselves today: What does it mean to spend time with God? In what ways and places do we do that?

Spending time with God seems to transfigure people.

And this is always a good reminder, when we are busy with annual meetings, work, volunteering, caring for others, family life, and more; let us remind each other: will this transfigure anything?

 

Let’s remember to ask ourselves:

What do people see on our face?

And what keeps us grounded when life around us is challenging?

We might not be able to store radiant moments in a shelter for later, and we can not make all people feel transfigured; but, we can always bring God in, to be part of our situation!

By saying grace, the Lord becomes present at our dinner table. By saying prayers in the evening, God will keep us safe through the night…

We can spend time in His presence even on the ground, we don’t have to climb a mountain to talk to God.

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As some of you already know, I just spend a few days in Texas to celebrate our anniversary and we went to see some Rodeo. And rodeo was not the place I expected God to be present, we bought cotton candy and drinks and there where fireworks and flags and the American anthem was song before the show started, but the last thing we all did together before the first horse rode into the arena was: to say a prayer.

Everybody took of their cowboy hats for a special moment and bowed their heads in prayers.

And this was a radiant moment for all of us present. Because God was there with us. It did in fact transfigure the whole scenery.

So, get up, do not be afraid, these are the words of Jesus today; get up and explore the highs of the mountaintops and the lows of life on the ground. Dare to have a dream and hear the echo of the words that the Lord spoke to Jesus: “This is my Child, my Chosen one.”

These words are spoken out of love in a special and radiant moment in history; know that these words are also spoken to you!

 

The Lord tells us: You are my beloved child!

He is with us now and forever more.

 

And now we have all heard it.

So, onward then in the name of Jesus!

 

Amen