First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

Transfiguration of the Lord – March 3, 2019

Bible Study – 8:15 a.m.
Worship – 9:30 a.m.
Childcare is available for infants through preschool age, downstairs in Rooms 4 and 5 for morning and evening services
Fellowship Time – after worship
Sunday Seminar: “Preparing for Lent” – 11:00 a.m.
Communion at Clark-Lindsey Village – 1:30 p.m.
Theology Discussion Group – 6:30 p.m.

“1200 Cranes, a Korean Tradition,” at King of Kings Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Transfiguration Sunday marks both the completion of the season after Epiphany and the turn toward Ash Wednesday and Lent. For weeks, we have been contemplating some of the many ways the presence of God breaks into the world bringing newness, grace, inspiration, challenge, comfort, and an invitation to deeper communion with God. Transfiguration puts before us one of the greatest epiphanies, an epiphany that puts before us one of the greatest questions: Who is Jesus? The Transfiguration gives a profound answer to that question. While on the mountain, Jesus knew what lay ahead for him in Jerusalem when they descended. Rejection, betrayal, arrest, kangaroo court, beating, crucifixion, abandonment, and death. He knew all of that while in he was on the mountaintop in glory. And he still left that glory to come back down the mountain. He remained faithful to the end. Because he was faithful, we can hope to be as faithful. We can do the hard things in discipleship like making peace. Shortly after the end of World War II, folded origami cranes came to symbolize a hope for peace. The story of Sadako Sasaki and her perseverance gradually spread around the world. Diagnosed with leukemia after being exposed to radiation after the bombing of Hiroshima, Sadako became determined to fold 1,000 cranes in hopes of recovering good health, happiness, and a world of eternal peace. Although she was only able to complete 644 before she died, her classmates folded the remaining 356 to honor her. A statue was raised in the Hiroshima Peace Park to commemorate her strong spirit. Traditionally, flocks of 1,000 paper cranes are offered at shrines or temples with prayer, based on the belief that the effort to fold such a large number will surely be rewarded. Chains are often given to someone suffering from illness, as a prayer for their recovery, as a wish for happiness, and as an expression of sympathy and peace. A prayer often spoken over time by Asian mothers seeking the protection of cranes has been: “O flock of heavenly cranes, cover my child with your wings.” Transfiguring 1,000 pieces of paper into beautiful cranes is not easy. Enjoying the wonder of being transfigured on a mountain top, and yet coming back down to face what Jesus faced for all of us was not easy. Doing that told us who he was. When we follow the pattern of faithfulness he set, we say something as well about who we are. Join us on Sunday as we celebrate the Transfiguration.”

Pastor David