The sermon outline—RBC Ministries pastor resources at http://pastor.resourcesforyourministry.org/— is broken into two parts. The first part examines Mark 9:1-8, the transfiguration of the Messiah. We are told that this is one of three times that our Lord’s identity has been displayed to some of His followers. The outline for part one concludes with the following statement: “We need time away from the demands of the ministry to commune with the Lord of glory. It is the only fitting preparation for ministry.”
Part two of this outline comes from Mark 9:14-29, which tells of Jesus and the three disciples descending the mountain and confronting desperate need. The outline briefly discusses the challenge of three great needs: A desperate parent; a demon-possessed child; and the defeated disciples.
These outlines are great for providing starting points for our sermons and teachings. What I think is so very special is that there are lots of other stimuli that occur during the week to augment the outline. For instance, a song on the radio tells of a mother whose three-year-old child died. We are told of her pain, and the singer says he doesn’t know what to say to this women in her anguish. All the singer knows is that the Father in Heaven will turn this pain into joy some day. The singer allows us to feel the anguish and the hope.
In a news report I am told of all the marvelous drugs that are prolonging the lives of people who are HIV positive. Unfortunately, according to the report, there are no drugs helping children who are born HIV positive. These children die in agony, early.
And if all this isn’t bad enough, anti-Christian activists in the United States are so happy that the tide is turning in American culture and politics. The “religious right” have been defeated and a new, liberal regime is in power that declares the United States is no longer just a Christian nation. A newspaper article informs us that the traditional view the Bible and Christian faith is seriously being challenged. A professor is declaring that the Bible is not the literal word of G-d. There are simply, according to him, too many inconsistencies. This professor even declares that the early apostles thought Y’shuaJesus was coming back, but later realized, when He didn’t, that the world was just going to go on and on. This professor tells us that it was only later that the idea of a second coming was brought out.
It is fascinating to me that the professor is doing exactly what Peter warned: “First, be aware of this: scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, following their own lusts, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” They willfully ignore this: long ago the heavens and the earth existed out of water and through water by the word of God.” (2 Peter 3:3-5 HCSB)
In thinking about seeing needs, it is clear to me that one of the dangers of this seeing is becoming overwhelmed at the immensity of the need. So it seems that we come off the hill of glory after revelations of Y’shuaJesus are given to our hearts, our eyes are opened, and we face a needy world. We face this needy world until we no longer can do so. Then we go back up the hill, to regain our selves with Y’shuaJesus. We go back to the roots of our faith, gaining strength from our encounter with Holiness. Thus we walk in a cycle of communion and service.
So let us climb the Mount and be transformed with Messiah. Let us see Him anew. Let us be changed, too. And let us come down to see the needs, know how to proceed, have the strength to work. And when finally we feel finished and used up, let us once again return to the Mountain of Glory. All the while, let us keep watch for Y’shuaJesus’ appearance, for He comes like a thief in the night.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .