Here’s a pastoral prayer for Transfiguration Sunday (February 19, 2012). It was written by the Rev. Evelyn M. Weaver, a retired United Methodist clergy person.
(Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-9, Luke 9:28-36)
O HOLY ONE, we long to enter into your presence as we embrace the silence of this hour and experience the joy of being together as a community of faith. Calm our troubled minds and grieving hearts; and restore us with your forgiveness and compassion. (a silent time)
Let us, if we can, begin to enter into the experience both of Jesus and the three disciples who became eyewitnesses to the Transfiguration. Let us climb the mountain with them, leaving behind our everyday concerns for a while. Let all of our senses focus on Jesus alone. Let nothing block us from the presence of Christ, let anything that would distract us from the light of this revelation fall away from us. Show us your glory, O Lord!
Oh, that we could have been there with Jesus to see for ourselves our Lord's radiant countenance and to hear the voice coming out of the clouds, "You are my beloved Child in whom I am well pleased." Why can't we experience God's visitation, to see Jesus only? We long, O gracious God, to have an intimate relationship with Christ such as the disciples had. But we, like them, want to keep Jesus just for ourselves. And, also like them, we do not want to return, to go back down to the plain to face rejection, humiliation and suffering. We like our comforts, our successes, our own achievements. We hold on to our pride and self-centeredness. We confidently sing: "Yes, we are able to be crucified with you," but we are not able. We have too much fear. We fear being changed on the inside, giving up old ways of thinking and acting. We fear what life would be like if we became a new being...so we close ourselves off from the glory of your countenance and from the struggle and the joy of your ministry.
Oh Lord, as you broke through in the world of your early disciples, so break through to us. As a community of faith, show us where your glory is to be found, not only on the mountaintop, but on the plain among your people. Shall we shrink from the joy of working with the poor, bringing recovery of sight to the blind, freeing those who are imprisoned because of conscience and those who are oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to reach out to all those who suffer in this world? In all of this, we can experience your glory.
Show us, Oh God, how to live our daily lives that we may glorify you in the common tasks of life. Many centuries ago there was a genius of the spiritual life, Brother Lawrence, a cook and shoemaker, who wrote: "Having given myself to God, having renounced all that is not God, I have come to see that my only business is to live as though there were none but God and I in the world." Let us focus on the radiance of Jesus' transfigured presence, and work for a world transfigured in the glory of Jesus' justice and love. In the name of Jesus, the Crucified and Risen Lord.
~ written by Rev. Evelyn M. Weaver, and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive.