Last Epiphany Year C

March 3, 2019

Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99;

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)


Sequence hymn (LEVS 115) -10am service

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Amen

When we turned the page to begin a new year on the church calendar on the first Sunday of Advent, we were invited to embark on a journey this year… to explore the ways the people of St Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church are being called to live into our baptismal promises, by following in the Way of Jesus: The Way of Love, in our church, in our community, and in our world. I have been referring to a resource called, The Way of Love: Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life, a framework of spiritual practices commended for use, by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

We began our year-long journey of being introduced to the various practices, during the seasons of Advent & Christmas, with exploring the practice of Turn… Turning towards Jesus Pausing, listening and choosing to follow Jesusin walking the Way of Love…

The 2nd practice we have explored throughout the season of Epiphany has been the practice of Learn. We were invited to Reflect on Scripture each day, especially on Jesus’ life and teachings.

In this season of Epiphany, there were a variety of ways that people gathered here at St Peter’s to learn more about the scriptures, especially on Jesus’ life and teachings. On Mondays, scripture reflection time was held…a time for people to gather and discuss the upcoming Sunday scriptures. On Tuesday evenings, a group has been gathering to learn about Episcopal Beliefs and practices, in relationship to Jesus’ life and teachings. On Wednesday evenings, people have gathered for a Taize Service…a quiet, contemplative way of listening to the scriptures and teachings of Jesus’ life. On Thursdays, a group has gathered (and perhaps many of you at home) to read the entire book of Romans throughout Epiphany.

 On Fridays, those gathered for the St Simeon & St Anna Morning Prayer Service, read scriptures, and pray for the church, and especially for the young people and the children.

I know of many of you who explore the scriptures daily, through your own daily practices.

And of course here on Sundays, we are engaged in learning about Jesus’ life through our scripture readings, music, and prayer, and our time together.

The children gather for Sunday school a couple of Sundays a month to explore the scriptures and the teachings of Jesus.

So… what have we learned about Jesus’ life and teachings in this season of Epiphany?

(At the 10am service….I’m going to ask the children gathered this morning…to walk with me around the church as we look back on our journey throughout the season of Epiphany…they will follow along with a matching book that has weekly coloring page to match the picture/lessons learned with the picture on the wall)

On Sunday, Jan 6 – Epiphany Sunday…we heard the story of the three wise men following a star, following a light that led them to the place where Jesus, the Messiah, the Light of the World, had been born. We came face to face with the glorious light of God revealed to us, in Jesus, in the birth of a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

On Jan 13, the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany, we learned about Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan… and about when He was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." We renewed our own baptismal covenants on that day, marking a new beginning of our life in Christ, a life striving to Walk in the Way of Love, that Christ has taught us and shown us.

On Jan 20, the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany, Deacon Kathryn shared a sermon about the Miracle of the Water into Wine scripture that was part of the Wedding Banquet story in the gospel of John that day…she highlighted the servants, those who were asked to help, and how they responded when they were told to “do whatever Jesus asks”.

ON Jan 27, the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany, the day of our Annual Meeting, we explored the 1st  Corinthians scripture about how the church functions as the Body of the in the church, in the community and in the world…we explored the ways, all of us, equipped with our diverse gifts, are called to share in building up the body of Christ…by following Jesus in Walking the Way of Love…We listened to the scriptures that told us about Jesus teaching in the synagogue, and how he read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah that spoke to what His mission was..The children at Sunday school that day created a beautiful book of prayers (from the BCP) for healing and support…a book to give to those who may be homebound or ill…

On Feb 4th, the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany…we continued with our reading of 1st Corinthians…exploring the words: But strive for the greater gifts… And I will show you a still more excellent way….

What is that more excellent way? The Way of Love…that Jesus has shown us…The Way of love that has the power to lift people up, when reality, life, will sometimes pull us down. (Michael Curry)

On Feb 10, the 5th Sunday after the Epiphany, we explored the scriptures in which Jesus calls his disciples to go fishing….fishing for people…to go out there to proclaim the good news, by sharing our own authentic faith story, with one another…from the place in our hearts, from where we have heard God’s voice and his call to us – that voice that speaks to each of us – wherever we are…

On Feb 17, the 6th Sunday after the Epiphany, we listened to the words of Jesus, as he began his sermon on the plain….teaching us, all of those who were listening…about blessings and woes…reminding us…that Blessings and Woes….are a part of all of our lives…sometimes we are hungry, sometimes we feel well fed…sometimes we laugh…sometimes we weep and cry… sometimes, it feels as if the world is against us…or on other days, we feel like the world is on our side…The good news that was summarized that Sunday, was that we are loved and blessed as we are.

On Feb 24, the 7th Sunday after Epiphany ...just last weekend… we heard more of Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of heaven, about the family of God,  from his sermon on the plain…they were very difficult teachings about loving our enemies, and forgiveness… Difficult, hard, uncomfortable…yes…but the good news I shared was that they need not keep us from striving to understand the live-giving ways of God, made known to us, through the love and witness of Jesus Christ.

 For this love is the greatest gift given to us... In Sunday school that day, the children learned other lessons about the kingdom of heaven…

one of which was the lesson about the Kingdom of heaven being like a precious pearl… And learned that in searching and finding the kingdom of heaven is a treasure worth more than anything anybody can imagine.

And finally, today is our last Sunday of the Epiphany Season, in which we have been focused on the practice of Learn…we have been reflecting on scriptures each week, that have helped us get to know more about who Jesus is, and how and why that matters to us, and to our lives now.

Our final lesson in the season of Epiphany, found in our gospel reading today, speaks about the Transfiguration.  The scriptures tell us that: Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"

From Weaving God’s Promises:

We call this {story} the transfiguration of Jesus, as if Jesus has been changed and suddenly becomes God. But this gospel is written from the disciples’ point of view. Jesus is not transformed. The change is not a change in Jesus. The change is in his disciples. They are now ready to see him as he is, in his glory.

Jesus is thus transformed, not by becoming who he is but by showing to his disciples who he in fact is and always was. They just hadn’t seen him before. Jesus has opened their eyes.

As we come to the end of this journey of learning about Jesus’ life and teachings, throughout Epiphany:

How have your eyes been opened?

How have the scriptures in this season helped you to see Jesus as He is and has always been?


And now what? What’s next?

A new beginning… a new season in the church year is about to begin…the season of Lent…

And, now…it is up to each one of us…to carry with us, within us, this glorious light of Jesus that we have seen, and all that we have come to learn and understand about Jesus throughout the season of Epiphany, into our next season of the church year which begins this week, on Ash Wednesday…

And I have a gift for everyone…to take home…to mark the days in our next journey together…our journey through the season of Lent…

This “Join the Journey Through Lent 2019 poster” has daily suggestions, questions, scripture and prayer prompts to reflect on in our season of Lent. You can color on it, read it alone or together, as a family…hang it on a wall in your home somewhere…But, use it…use it as a way to pray during this holy season of Lent…

Use it as a way to learn more about Jesus…in yet another season of His life and ours…


Closing Prayer/Hymn: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (#97/Maranatha Praise Book)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. Amen.



Rev Julie Platson

St Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church

Sitka, Alaska