Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Close Encounters of the Divine Kind

February 14, 2021 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 5 Episode 11
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Close Encounters of the Divine Kind
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Close Encounters of the Divine Kind
Feb 14, 2021 Season 5 Episode 11
Pastor Dave Tucker

Rev. Harold was a man of God. You’ve heard of Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon and George Mueller? Rev. Harold was nothing like them, he was not as dynamic. 

Based on 9:2-9
Originally preached February 14, 2021
St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Show Notes Transcript

Rev. Harold was a man of God. You’ve heard of Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon and George Mueller? Rev. Harold was nothing like them, he was not as dynamic. 

Based on 9:2-9
Originally preached February 14, 2021
St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Unknown:

We have only one scripture that we'll be reading today. And as found in the Gospel of Mark, Mark, chapter nine, verses two through nine, Mark nine. Two through nine, I'm reading from the New Revised Standard Version, listen to the Word of God. Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James, and john and led them to a high mountain apart by themselves, and he was transfigured before them. And his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them, and there appeared to them, Elijah, and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three dwellings, One for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them. And from the cloud, there came a voice. This is my beloved, listen him. Suddenly, when they looked around, they saw no one with him anymore. But only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen until after the set of men had been written from the dead. This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God. On this transfiguration Sunday, and I regret that we're not together on transfiguration Sunday. It's one of my most favorite, liturgical times of the year. But on this transfiguration Sunday, we remember the story of Jesus transformation, trance, figuration in front of his disciples, we remember Jesus's mountaintop experience. On top of that mountain, Peter, James, and john, witness something wonderful, wonderfully terrifying. No doubt, these disciples recognizes something life changing had just happened. Especially when the voice from above, proclaimed, This is my beloved Son, listen to him. No doubt, the three disciples all agree that this sort of thing just doesn't happen every day, which made it quite terrifying for them as well. For Jesus, this was a confirmation on his call the Holy Spirit, embrace him in light, Elijah, and Moses came down from heaven to visit Jesus and encouraged him and the voice, the voice of God, the Father, proclaiming Jesus's identity as the Son of God. For Jesus, this was unmistakable evidence that God had blessed him and his ministry on Earth. Every time I read the story of the Transfiguration, I sit, and I meditate on the passage. I like to imagine myself there witnessing the events that happened. I wonder if I would have been terrified. If I had seen the bright light along with the disciples in the cloud, Moses and Elijah, I wonder how I would have responded. What would have done what would I have done? Had I heard the voice booming from heaven? And then my mind asks the question, wow. Why doesn't God do the same for me? And I sit in that tension for a while. Reverend Harold was a man of God. You've heard of Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, George Mueller. Reverend Harold was nothing like these men. He was not as dynamic. He's the kind of man who would have no interest until evangelists and mega churches. Because his church was so small, Reverend Harold didn't get paid much of a stipend. And as such, he lived in an older neighborhood. His home was in disrepair. He wore the same suit that he wore More 40 years ago, when he entered into the ministry, it was nothing fancy. didn't quite fit him well anymore. And even though he didn't have much money, what little he did have he was known to give to disadvantaged families in his church and his community. Reverend Harold was a preacher, more specifically an evangelist. But instead of a big tent, he would stand in the pulpit in front of his tiny congregation, as he has faithfully done for 40 years of his life. Not many people would come and listen to his sermons. His quiet demeanor never really drew much of a large crowd. Reverend Harold would often be seen sitting in the park, feeding the birds talking to God. And most passers by would look at him and say, He's crazy. But if someone would have taken the time to talk with Reverend Harold at the park, they would have realized that Reverend Harold was talking to his best friend Jesus, but no one cared enough to ask. So they just went on, assuming he was crazy. Reverend Harold's message was as simple as his lifestyle. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here. Prepare your hearts for the coming of God. Reverend Harold also taught that you are not saved by your church traditions or denominations. By racked righteous acts performed for all to see. Rather through the grace of God, humility and confession of sin. That's what he taught. You are saved through the grace of God. humility and confession of sin. This Sunday was to be Reverend Harold's last Sunday in the pulpit. Reverend Howard Harold had drawn the attention of church leaders. You see the church was too small. And the church leaders decided that maybe someone younger maybe someone fresh out of seminary would draw more people into the church and make it grow. Reverend Harold was deemed too old to be the pastor of this church. Perhaps someone younger and newer and fresher out of seminary would draw crowds and make the church grow. On his last Sunday in the pulpit, Reverend Harold looked around at his tiny congregation and stood there for a while. He looked around and saw the church leaders he could see his replacement sitting there. Reverend Harold silence drew a stillness in the whole congregation. It was so quiet. You could hear a pin drop. And Reverend Harold stretched out his arms inside. Instead, friends, Jesus is coming again. Prepare your hearts. Be kind to one another. Love one another. Love one another. That was it. He looked around one more one last time it is tiny congregation and sat down. Three weeks later, Reverend Harold passed away. Jesus was waiting for Reverend Harold and embrace them. Well done. My faithful servant were the words from Jesus. Reverend Harold was afraid to look in the face of his best friend. He looked down and was afraid to utter what was on his mind. Finally, he looked up into the eyes of Jesus and he could see that Jesus already knew what Harold was going to say. So Harold Senate, Jesus, it would have been nice to see Working in my ministry, it would have been nice to have heard these words Well done, good and faithful servant while I was on earth. And Jesus reply, almost not Herald office feet. Jesus said, Harold, I did appear to you. And I was always confirming your call. And Jesus continued, the birds that you fed. I was revealing myself to you through their grateful songs. You know the smiles of the families that you helped financially. I was in those smiles. The children you baptized, the love present when you conducted weddings, the hands you held and comforted at the end of life on this earth, the communion that you served. I was there. You Harold, my beloved Son, and I am well pleased with you. You are obedient in the little things. And whatsoever you did for the least of these these you did unto me that this Harold was an all. Jesus gave Harold a big hug and said, Come on, Harold. I'm going to teach you how to walk on water. So many times you become so involved in looking for the big and unmistakable manifestations of God. So many times are read them in the scriptures. And we wonder why we don't see more of that. And in are looking for the big we often miss the small ways that God is revealing God's self to us through the ordinary in our lives. Starting next week, we are going to start a journey that will help us all focus on God in the ordinary. I hope you can join me for that.