More / Book of the Month / The Bridge / Mark 9:2-9 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Transfiguration Sunday, February 14th, 2021

The Bridge / Mark 9:2-9 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Transfiguration Sunday, February 14th, 2021




The Bridge / Mark 9:2-9 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Transfiguration Sunday, February 14th, 2021

 

Text: Mark 9:2-9
Theme: The Bridge
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Intr – Country A and country B were two friendly countries, but they had something between them. In country A jokes would run amok about the “dumbness” of citizens of country B.[1]

        One day, president of Country B wrote his friend with a request: “You know, my friend, this fame that my country bears in our country, internationally even, is something a little over the top. Would you mind helping your friend here, and doing something royally dumb in your land so that our fame could be mitigated a bit?”

        President of country A acceded to his friend’s request and built a bridge on the north of the country in the middle of nowhere. No road, no water body, no nothing. A bridge from nowhere to no place. On the dedication day it was all over the place in Country B’s headlines just as expected.

        Several weeks later he sent a message again to his friend. “Thank you for accepting my request, now people here are happy to be able to tell the tale about the bridge you built in no man’s land .” To which President A answered: “I’m really happy that I was able to help you. Now, I need your help with something too: I don’t know what to do with those 5 guys from your country that have been out there in that bridge for the last 7 days trying to fish off of it”.

         Why is transfiguration Sunday here? It’s a one of a kind experience that seems to have no much meaning for us, just another day on the Church’s calendar which is somehow hard to understand. It may sound like the bridge in the middle of nowhere, with some pastors and liturgists trying to fish something out of it.

 1 – Bridge between Epiphany and Lent

        Transfiguration Sunday is the bridge between Epiphany and Lent.  Glory and Cross.  Glorious Ministry and Suffering Ministry. That is why it is a significant day in the Church Calendar.

        About the experience at the Mountaintop something that might strike us is that after many days and months with the Master, learning straight from Him, seeing His miraculous deeds, the disciples still needed this voice to point them to Jesus… How so?

        Well, let’s think about our own life. Many of us have been baptized for 40, 50, 60+ years now. We have been in contact with Jesus’ teaching for such a long time; we have been walking with him quite a long road so far. Still, we need to be reminded by the voice of Heaven in His Word, “Listen to Him!”

Because there are times in which we like to listen to thing like:     
_the news to tell us how the world is like;
_powerful or important people where to draw some sense of security from;
_to pop culture advice on how life should be easy, soft and full of joys, instead or real advice for real life from the Word.

And so on.

        That’s why we need this bridge. Jesus. Outside of faith, it may sound like something in the middle of nowhere, a connection of nowhere to no place. In faith though it connects ears and heart, faith and action, word and world, life and eternity.

        Listening attentively to Jesus is connected to another interesting aspect of that experience. Jesus charges his disciples not to tell anybody about what they witnessed it until His resurrection. Why would He do that?

        Chances were that the wrong idea about Him could be passed down among people; more glory, less cross; more of the earthly king, less of the King of kings. More bread for the body, less bread of life. On the other hand, it might be deemed too spectacular to be credible, whereas after Jesus miraculous resurrection, when this episode was made known, Christians would connect the dots and realize the importance of that factual event.

        That is applicable to us to. If we are going to speak about him in a way people would get it wrong, we need to silence and learn more. We need to listen to Jesus, and to Jesus alone.

2 –  He is the bridge between

_sin and forgiveness;

_our ears and our hearts;

_He bridges your doubts and fears. He is The Bridge to life eternal.

         In our life, He is

_The bridge between our sins and forgiveness – Romans 5

_The bridge between despair and hope;

_The bridge outside of yourself to connect you with God.

3 - Four invitations from transfiguration Sunday:

Bridge to forgiveness: Repent and believe Him! – If Jesus worked in the publicity propaganda He would be # 1 name in the market. In one sentence He summarizes His entire message and work.

Bridge from ears to heart: Listen to Him! –  Out of the four most basic forms of communication and receiving information, we usually receive formal instruction in three. There are classrooms where you learn how to read, speak and write. Now, do you go to learn how to listen? We have an easy time getting many of our members busy. Hands, feet, eyes, tongue.. but our ears sometimes are idling for more time than they should.

Bridge over difficult waters: Walk with Him – Jesus is a part of our daily life.
You and Him. Close connection.
You and His body, His Church. Close interaction.

Jesus Himself, except for the times he went to pray alone, would usually have his disciples, or some of them along.

As we walk with Him, we go down the mountain into our daily life, into the difficult times we live in. For daily life is not a perpetual mountaintop experience. You know, sometimes it looks like the church should strive to be a mountaintop type of spectacle every Sunday, at every event. however, Church models life, and life is many times repetitive, constant, “liturgical”. Sometimes it is chaotic for sure. But even in the midst of unhinged circumstance the constancy of God pins us to the assurance of the continuous walk in faith. Church and daily life go hand in hand. There are special Sundays. There are special days, special feast, special moments. But there is real life, daily life. And Jesus is the bridge to allow you to connect both, and to be connected to Him. [2]

Bridge to God’s presence: Adore Him! – As Christians we think we always need to be on the go, doing something. As an internet cartoon had it once: “Jesus is coming, look busy”.[3] Can you imagine if Jesus would come exactly at your nap time, or when you are by the beach having a time off? Sounds like this is what Peter had in mind, we need to be busy. It is not enough just to be here and adore and contemplate. We must do something.

        Adore Jesus. Enjoy His presence, listen to him, learn from him. Receive His sacraments. Receive. Be with Him.

        We have in our city a bridge that is considered by many to be the largest bridge over the smallest body of Water in the World – Albert Bridge.[4]

        Jesus is the long and certain bridge that make hell, the devil and sin look like a  small body of muddy waters, for He has conquered all of them. He is the long bridge over this troubled life leading into the life that will never see an end.

 Cc – Sometimes, my friend, your Christian life will look to some people like fishing out of a bridge in the middle of nowhere. Don’t bother, keep going. Repent and believe; listen; walk with Him; adore Him. Where many can’t see anything, you see the Bridge of Life. The bridge over the lack of purpose and sense. The connection, the link. The bridge from which to fish more people into the Kingdom. The bridge to eternal life.

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[1] “How to you keep a Country B citizen entertained for 10 hours? Just write “turn it over” in both sides of a paper sheet.”
“What did the country B citizen say when he saw a ice patch in the sidewalk in front of him? O now, I’ll have to slide fall again.”
[2] Paragraph based on a sermon by Rev. Laerte Tardelli Voss, Transfiguration Sunday. Copacabana Lutheran Church-Brazil, February 14th, 2021
[3] Rev. Tardelli Voss, op.cit.
[4] https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/albert-memorial-bridge  


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