Sermon – Next before Lent 2019

Sermon 3rd March 2019
Reading Luke 9 28-36, The Transfiguration
Revd Bernard Moss 9.30 and 10.45am services

You all know this famous tune don’t you? ( all sing chorus of : These are a few of my favourite things)
And we will all have our of favourite things which enrich our lives –things which give us hope –which make life go with a zing from time to time- our all-time favourite things that make life worth living
And over the last few days I have been adding to my own list – I have been in touch with some people in my role as chair of our Mission Support Group here at St Mary’s that have made my heart sing – people from various projects we are supporting as a church that have made me realise yet again what an outward-looking deeply caring church fellowship we are – oh yes ! we are making a difference with our prayerful love and support to so many people.
And it is as if we are saying to God – Lord – here is what we can give – we are not sure what You can do with it but here it is

And do you know what ! God smiles and says – I’ll show you what I can do with your love and your financial giving and the prayers you offer week in and week out – just watch me transfigure the lives of others !

Do you remember the presentation we had last year from the Operation Mobilisation team who were telling us about the LOGOS HOPE ship we are helping to support and maintain?

This ship has been and still is visiting South America – it is cram full of all sorts of literature and resources – bibles and prayer books and children’s resources – and every time it comes into port, guess what – we think we are doing well when at our crib services we have people queueing outside to get in – but hundreds indeed thousands queue for hours to get onto the ship whenever it calls – they are so desparate to receive the books and materials that will enrich their lives in all sorts of ways, and to deepen their faith

We are helping them with this work – we are helping to transfigure their lives

And there is more – remember the gift we sent to the school in Bethlehem which works with brain damaged and hearing impaired children whatever their background – we have helped provide some really up-to-date state-of-the-art physiotherapy equipment that is making such a difference to the lives, health and wellbeing of these children who experience all sorts of disability –
And we are helping them with this work – we are helping to transfigure lives.

These are a few of my favourite things that remind me God’s goodness and generosity at work
And there’s is more – just this week I have been in touch with some of the projects we have agreed to support this year and for the next 3 years

Have your heard of – of course you have because people from St Mary’s have been involved with them for several years – the Cheshire Agricultural Chaplaincy ? They are so grateful to us for the financial support we are pledging, to help them appoint a new part time chaplain to care for and work with the farming community in Cheshire and the Wirral… there is so much that is challenging our farming community – so much stress and tension – and the chaplaincy is there to offer care , support and skilled help at a personal level

And we are helping them with this work – we are helping to transfigure lives

And let me introduce you to Andrew and Lisa Peart – they are our new mission partners with Church Mission Society (CMS). We decided in principle at the PCC in January to support CMS again and to see how who might be available to be partners with us – and two weeks ago our MSG prayerfully chose Andrew and Lisa – and within a couple of days we heard from them in Bolivia where they are working and supporting the work of the church and their local community –a skype contact has been established and they are so excited to be linked up with us and are so looking forward to coming over to see us all in June – they are in God’s hands and are helping to transfigure lives , and we are going to be part of that journey with them.

These are a few of my favourite things about our Mission Support .. about our reaching out to others as a Christian community – There are others we support – CLASP : to support single parents; Church Urban Fund; Railway Children, to name but three

And in each and every case we say to God – we want to offer this to You -and once God gets hold of it there is no end to the joy and blessing that comes as a result
And we are part of it – we are helping to transfigure lives. We are part of Gods mission to his created world – helping people come alive with the glory and joy and wonder of God’s love
Because we are part of God’s worldwide church, which for us begins here in St Mary’s and like the ripples in a pond stretches as far as the eye of prayer can see.

So as you read THIS MONTH and learn more about the projects we support
As you use our THIS WEEK prayer pointers to remember these people in your prayers
As you have an opportunity at Harvest on September 8th to meet some of our partners and hear about the work they are doing, you will get caught up in the spiritual zing of being the missional people of God

Because in the end transfiguration is what it is all about – it’s about the glory of God touching our lives and the lives of others –
It’s about the beauty of God driving us to care deeply for others and to fight for justice in a war torn hurting world –
It’s about lives being changed by the power of God and the victory of Christ on the cross

And to be part of that – to catch a glimpse of God at work in such transforming transfiguring ways takes our breath away.

These are just a few of my favourite things – but what a glorious God to love and serve.