Suggested Hymns from

Transfiguration Sunday
(Last Sunday after Epiphany)

(Year A)

Unifying Theme:
Open yours eyes to see the fulfillment of God's promises.

Scripture Theme Hymns
Exodus 24:12-18 Preparing to receive God's law 332: Spirit of Faith, Come Down
454: Open My Eyes, That I May See
Psalm 2
Psalm 99
A holy God of awesome power 103: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
117: O God, Our Help in Ages Past
698: God of the Ages
2 Peter 1:16-21 Prophecy is fulfilled in the manner that God chooses 500: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
567: Heralds of Christ
Matthew 17:1-9 The transfiguration 258: O Wondrous Sight! O Vision Fair
372: How Can We Sinners Know

Featured Hymn
Open My Eyes, That I May See

Hymn #454
Words and music by Clara H. Scott

Waking up. It really is an amazing process. At one moment you are sound asleep, perhaps dreaming, perhaps not. At another moment you are wide awake, consciously experiencing all of your senses. Between those moments is a process--the process of awakening. Sometimes it happens very quickly; other times it happens very slowly. During the process, the real and the unreal are sometimes blurred. Distinguishing between what is dream and what is real can be quite difficult. It is a matter of perceiving things that are real--perceiving things that are true. Sometimes you might even need someone to say something to you so that you will finish waking up. Once you are awake, it amazes you that you couldn't see the truth all along.

The lectionary passages this week all have something to do with the way that people perceive and understand God. In a sense, it is about being awake to the reality that is God. Moses prepared to go up on a mountain to receive God's law. He and all of the people of Israel could see signs of God's presence on that mountain. Moses could have decided to portray God to the Israelites in a form that the people might have wanted. Read on in the story and you will find that the people's vision of God did not correspond with the reality of God. Fortunately for Israel--and for us today--Moses was awake. He opened his eyes to see the true God. The Psalmist continually uses perceptions and images to help us understand the truth of who God is. In these Pslams he declares the power and holiness of God. The Gospel story of the transfiguration is rich in images and symbolism. When the disciples began focusing on the event instead of focusing on the Lord, a voice from heaven gave them a "wake up call." The lesson from the epistles reminds us that we need to look for what God does, and not for what we think God "should do."

Revelation of these realities in the scriptures is a blessing. Knowing what is real and true is absolutely critical in every part of our lives. Every action should be based on what is real, not what is imaginary and merely dreamed or perceived. Indeed, our lives and the safety of those around us can be jeopardized if the choices that we make are not grounded in truth.

This is so in our spiritual lives just as it is in our physical lives. God is real. His Word is true. Through it we can know the path that leads to life. We can see the path. We can hear the path. We can share the good news about that path through what we say and what we do. And we should actively look and listen and speak to know and to share God's truth for our lives and for the world.

This week's featured hymn asks for God's help in seeing, in hearing, and in sharing. The words and music were written by Clara H. Scott (1841-1897), who was a native of Illinois and taught music at the Ladies' Seminary in Lyons, Iowa. It is her only hymn in The United Methodist Hymnal, but it is one of the most popular. It shares her yearning to see and to hear and to know God. The real, true God we serve. Here are the words.

1. Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!
2. Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth thou sendest clear;
and while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!
3. Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart and let me prepare
love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Like God's people in the past--the Israelites, the disciples, the early church--we need to keep our eyes, our ears, and our hearts open to see and experience and share God's love. Carry the message of this hymn with you today and always.

God bless you--
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Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.