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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Reframe the Picture

Have you ever been photo bombed? You had your selfie all lined up, hair just right, location, angle, and soon as you hit the button somebody jumps into the frame. And usually, it’s somebody you didn’t necessarily want to take a picture with!


Well, guess what? One of the new smartphones has a feature that allows you to erase someone from your pictures! Technology has gotten so advanced that it’s hard to tell the real from Memorex!


Luke gives us an account of a photo bomb for the ages! Jesus once took Peter, James, and John with him up a mountain, and two amazing things happened…


“28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.”

Luke 9:28-29


These three men experienced what’s called a theophany - a visible manifestation of God! Here they were, seeing the glory of the Lord shining brightly. Can you imagine that? But wait, it gets even more amazing…


“30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”

Luke 9:30-31


Whoa! Here they were trying to take in seeing Jesus in all of His glory, and all of a sudden Jesus is photo bombed by Moses and Elijah! I don’t know what I would’ve done seeing all of this, but Peter had a thought. Let’s read on…


“33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not knowing what he said.”

Luke 9:33


I know, it sounded good, didn’t it? Let’s all stay right here! Bless Peter’s heart. I love how the text put it: “not knowing what he said.” But think about it. Have you ever experienced something so joyful that you didn’t want it to end? That’s all Peter was saying, “Hey, this is so good, why don’t we throw up some tents and just stay here!” Peter was caught up in his mountaintop experience. The mountaintop experience is when the presence of the Lord is so wonderfully felt by you that you really don’t have words to describe it, and you really don’t want it to end.


Perhaps that was Peter’s dilemma. He didn’t know what to say, so he just wanted to capture the moment for eternity. But as he and the others discovered, Jesus didn’t come for a moment, but for a mission. There was more work to be done and it wasn’t on the mountaintop, but in the valleys, the alleys, the places where healing was needed.


And that’s a word for us as well. We love those spontaneous moments of worship, don’t we? The music is awesome, the prayers, Scripture, sermon, everything is speaking to you. In fact, it’s as if God custom designed the service for YOU! They are truly special moments.


But Jesus calls us to look beyond the moment, reframe the picture, and see that there’s so much more to Him than the moment at hand. They did spend the night on the mountain, but the next day they went back down to the hurting world, to the broken, the lost, the oppressed. Jesus didn’t skip a beat. And neither should we!


Join me this Sunday as we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and see what it means to Reframe the Picture. Join us in-house at 10:00am, or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


Ash Wednesday Service will be observed on March 2 at 6:30 pm. We will have two opportunities for the imposition of ashes – during Porch Drop (11:00-1:00 that day) or during the evening service.


And speaking of Lenten practices, I truly believe there’s support in numbers, so I invite you to join me as a church in the following…


March GLADness:


Have you ever been photo bombed? You had your selfie all lined up, hair just right, location, angle, and soon as you hit the button somebody jumps into the frame. And usually, it’s somebody you didn’t necessarily want to take a picture with!


Well, guess what? One of the new smartphones has a feature that allows you to erase someone from your pictures! Technology has gotten so advanced that it’s hard to tell the real from Memorex!


Luke gives us an account of a photo bomb for the ages! Jesus once took Peter, James, and John with him up a mountain, and two amazing things happened…


“28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.”

Luke 9:28-29


These three men experienced what’s called a theophany - a visible manifestation of God! Here they were, seeing the glory of the Lord shining brightly. Can you imagine that? But wait, it gets even more amazing…


“30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”

Luke 9:30-31


Whoa! Here they were trying to take in seeing Jesus in all of His glory, and all of a sudden Jesus is photo bombed by Moses and Elijah! I don’t know what I would’ve done seeing all of this, but Peter had a thought. Let’s read on…


“33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not knowing what he said.”

Luke 9:33


I know, it sounded good, didn’t it? Let’s all stay right here! Bless Peter’s heart. I love how the text put it: “not knowing what he said.” But think about it. Have you ever experienced something so joyful that you didn’t want it to end? That’s all Peter was saying, “Hey, this is so good, why don’t we throw up some tents and just stay here!” Peter was caught up in his mountaintop experience. The mountaintop experience is when the presence of the Lord is so wonderfully felt by you that you really don’t have words to describe it, and you really don’t want it to end.


Perhaps that was Peter’s dilemma. He didn’t know what to say, so he just wanted to capture the moment for eternity. But as he and the others discovered, Jesus didn’t come for a moment, but for a mission. There was more work to be done and it wasn’t on the mountaintop, but in the valleys, the alleys, the places where healing was needed.


And that’s a word for us as well. We love those spontaneous moments of worship, don’t we? The music is awesome, the prayers, Scripture, sermon, everything is speaking to you. In fact, it’s as if God custom designed the service for YOU! They are truly special moments.


But Jesus calls us to look beyond the moment, reframe the picture, and see that there’s so much more to Him than the moment at hand. They did spend the night on the mountain, but the next day they went back down to the hurting world, to the broken, the lost, the oppressed. Jesus didn’t skip a beat. And neither should we!


Join me this Sunday as we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and see what it means to Reframe the Picture. Join us in-house at 10:00am, or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


Ash Wednesday Service will be observed on March 2 at 6:30 pm. We will have two opportunities for the imposition of ashes – during Porch Drop (11:00-1:00 that day) or during the evening service.


And speaking of Lenten practices, I truly believe there’s support in numbers, so I invite you to join me as a church in the following…


March GLADness:


Wesley Fast – fast from food once a week (if you are physically able), from sundown Thursday until 3:00 pm Friday. This was John Wesley’s way of fasting. But you can do it with non-food things as well (tv, social media, etc.). The point is to challenge yourself by giving up something as a sacrifice to the Lord. You can find more info & daily prayers on this site: https://www.methodistprayer.org/wesleyfast#:~:text=The%20Wesley%20Fast.%20What%20is%20fasting%3F%20In%20a,spiritual%20discipline.%20Most%20Christians%20accompany%20fasting%20with%20prayer.


Take 13 is back! Read the Bible for at least 13 minutes a day.


Churchwide Prayer Line – Thursdays at 6:00pm (the beginning of our fasting). There will be a different focus each week (seniors, grief, families with children, etc.) Call in: (727) 731-7163. No passcode needed!


Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times Online Course – Wednesdays, starting 3/9, at 6:30pm. Ways to help you encounter the Holy One by being still. Link will be on the website.


Other things to consider:


Pray and meditate daily


Sacrificial service, experience the joy of serving God with others


Sacrificial giving, give a little above your regular tithes and offerings. (When I was a child, we had Lenten folders that taught us to give our dimes and quarters to the Lord for Lent.)


The what you do for Lent is not as important as the why you are doing it. Consider ways that will help you to draw closer to the Lord and commit to doing it for the 40 days of Lent (not including Sundays).


So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

do everything for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31


Blessings, Wesley Fast – fast from food once a week (if you are physically able), from sundown Thursday until 3:00 pm Friday. This was John Wesley’s way of fasting. But you can do it with non-food things as well (tv, social media, etc.). The point is to challenge yourself by giving up something as a sacrifice to the Lord. You can find more info & daily prayers on this site: https://www.methodistprayer.org/wesleyfast#:~:text=The%20Wesley%20Fast.%20What%20is%20fasting%3F%20In%20a,spiritual%20discipline.%20Most%20Christians%20accompany%20fasting%20with%20prayer.


Take 13 is back! Read the Bible for at least 13 minutes a day.


Churchwide Prayer Line – Thursdays at 6:00pm (the beginning of our fasting). There will be a different focus each week (seniors, grief, families with children, etc.) Call in: (727) 731-7163. No passcode needed!


Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times Online Course – Wednesdays, starting 3/9, at 6:30pm. Ways to help you encounter the Holy One by being still. Link will be on the website.


Other things to consider:


Pray and meditate daily


Sacrificial service, experience the joy of serving God with others


Sacrificial giving, give a little above your regular tithes and offerings. (When I was a child, we had Lenten folders that taught us to give our dimes and quarters to the Lord for Lent.)


The what you do for Lent is not as important as the why you are doing it. Consider ways that will help you to draw closer to the Lord and commit to doing it for the 40 days of Lent (not including Sundays).


So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

do everything for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31


Blessings,


Pastor Linda

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