THE SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY

Transfiguration Sunday
February 14, 2021

First Presbyterian Church, Fargo
The Session and members of First Presbyterian Church, extend a sincere welcome to you! We welcome all persons regardless of race, nationality, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. This includes an open invitation to membership, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, marriage, funerals, memorial services, and to serve as an officer of the church.

Prelude and Preparation for Worship

Prayer of the Day
Holy and mighty God, gather us among your faithful ones, the people of your covenant, to stand in the light of your glory and listen for the word of the Lord, Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences 
The glory of God shines
like a consuming fire.
We have seen the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.

The voice of God thunders
like a mighty storm.
Out of the cloud, God speaks:
This is my beloved Son; listen to him!
Let us worship God!
Hymn — Sing of God Made Manifest
Accompanist: Dillon Swanson
1 Sing of God made manifest
in a child robust and blest,
to whose home in Bethlehem
where a star had guided them,
magi came and gifts unbound,
signs mysterious and profound:
myrrh and frankincense and gold
grave and God and king foretold.

2 Sing of God made manifest
when at Jordan John confessed,
“I should be baptized by you,
but your bidding I will do.”
Then from heaven a double sign—
dove-like Spirit, voice divine—
hailed the true Anointed One:
“This is my beloved Son.”

3 Sing of God made manifest
when Christ came as wedding guest
and at Cana gave a sign,
turning water into wine;
further still was love revealed
as he taught, forgave, and healed,
bringing light and life to all
who would listen to God’s call.

4 Sing of God made manifest
on the cloud-capped mountain’s crest,
where the law and prophets waned
so that Christ alone remained:
glimpse of glory, pledge of grace,
given as Jesus set his face
towards the waiting cross and grave,
sign of hope that God would save.
Call to Confession
God alone is righteous; God alone is perfect; God alone is judge. Yet this holy, righteous God comes to us in love, to save us. Rejoicing in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

Prayer of Confession
God of all glory, beauty, and grace,  we have tried to hide from you—to hide our faces, to hide our sin—yet you have never hidden your love for us. We have tried to search for you—in temples, in clouds, on mountaintops—yet you have already revealed yourself to us in the face of Jesus Christ. Forgive us, and transform us so that our lives may shine with your glory, beauty, and grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Hearing God’s Word

Children's Message
Prayer for Illumination
Lesson  2 Kings 2:1-12
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’
Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’
Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

Lesson  Mark 9:1-9
And he said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up 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 with 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 Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them 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 Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Sermon                Cross Bearing for Non-Messiahs
Hymn — Jesus, Take Us to the Mountain
1 Jesus, take us to the mountain,
where, with Peter, James, and John,
we are dazzled by your glory,
light as blinding as the sun.
There prepare us for the night
by the vision of that sight.

2 What do you want us to see there,
that your close companions saw?
Your divinity revealed there
fills us with the selfsame awe.
Clothed in flesh like ours you go,
matched to meet our deadliest foe.

3 What do you want us to hear there,
that your dear disciples heard?
Once again the voice from heaven
says of the Incarnate Word,
"Listen, listen, everyone:
this is my beloved Son."

4 Take us to that other mountain
where we see you glorified,
where you shouted "It is finished!"
where for all the world you died.
Hear the stunned centurion:
"Truly this was God's own Son!"

5 We who have beheld your glory,
risen and ascended Lord,
cannot help but tell the story,
all that we have seen and heard;
say with Peter, James, and John:
"You are God's beloved Son!"

Responding to God’s Word

Statement of Faith       The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers of the People and the Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication

Bearing the Word into the World

Hymn — Alleluia, Song of Gladness
1 Alleluia, song of gladness,
voice of joy that cannot die;
alleluia is the anthem
ever dear by choirs on high;
in the house of God abiding
thus they sing eternally.

2 Alleluia you are sounding,
true Jerusalem and free;
alleluia, joyful mother,
bring us to your jubilee;
here by Babylon's sad waters
mourning exiles still are we.

3 Alleluia cannot always
be our song while here below;
alleluia our transgressions
make us for a while forgo;
for the solemn time is coming
when our tears for sin shall flow.

4 in our hymns we pray with longing:
Grant us, blessed Trinity,
at the last to keep glad Easter
with the faithful saints on high;
there to you forever singing
alleluia joyfully.

Charge and Benediction
Postlude
Join us for Zoom Coffee Hour on Sunday at 11:30 am! Click here for the information.