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19 February 2012

Sermon: Transfiguration (OT)

19 February AD 2012

Sermon Theme: God Unveiled

Moses and the LordSummary: God veils Himself in order to protect sinful mankind from His glory yet also to keep sinners from His presence. At the same time, we are cloaked by the sin that clings to us. However, He chose a new veil, that of human flesh, and covered Himself that He might come among us to pierce our sinfulness and to give us a new covering, the righteousness granted in Baptism and received by faith.

From both Old and New Testaments, the sermon points out some of the veils worn by God and man. It shows which ones are blessings and which are signs of sin’s curse and proclaims the time when no veils will be necessary, for we will see God as He is.

Until then, we are allowed tiny glimpses of God that flash forth from behind His veil. A sign that things have changed came when God tore the veil of the temple curtain at Jesus’ death. Most importantly, we see Him in Word and Sacrament, particularly in His Son’s body and blood. We confess this joyful truth in the words of the Communion hymn “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face.”

In today’s Scriptures and sermon, we see why the Transfiguration of Our Lord was chosen to be the capstone of the Epiphany season and the sign that we are about to enter Lent, when we watch our Savior descend the mountain of His glory in order to climb toward the mount of His crucifixion.

Text: When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them.

Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.

Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
Exodus 34:29-35

Note: This is the alternate Old Testament reading appointed for the day.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of God Unveiled, preached for the saints of God at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Fayette, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 3:12-13 (14-18); Mark 9:2-9

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