Is It Contagious?


Message Title: Is It Contagious?
Season: Epiphany
Main Text: 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2;
Scripture Reading: All
RCL Scripture: Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36
Focus: Paul connects Moses’ transfiguration with our faith transformation.
Function: to open ourselves up to the transformation possibilities brought from a relationship with God through spiritual disciplines.
Other Notes:


Exodus 34:29-35 29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two covenant tablets in his hand, Moses didn’t realize that the skin of his face shone brightly because he had been talking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw the skin of Moses’ face shining brightly, they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called them closer. So Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32 After that, all the Israelites came near as well, and Moses commanded them everything that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 Whenever Moses went into the Lord’s presence to speak with him, Moses would take the veil off until he came out again. When Moses came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face was shining brightly. So Moses would put the veil on his face again until the next time he went in to speak with the Lord.

Psalm 99 The Lord rules—the nations shake! He sits enthroned on the winged heavenly creatures—the earth quakes! The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them thank your great and awesome name. He is holy! Strong king[a] who loves justice, you are the one who established what is fair. You worked justice and righteousness in Jacob. Magnify the Lord, our God! Bow low at his footstool! He is holy! Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel too among those who called on his name. They cried out to the Lord, and he himself answered them— 7he spoke to them from a pillar of cloud. They kept the laws and the rules God gave to them. Lord our God, you answered them. To them you were a God who forgives but also the one who avenged their wrong deeds. Magnify the Lord our God! Bow low at his holy mountain because the Lord our God is holy!

Luke 9:28-36 28 About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. 31 They were clothed with heavenly splendor and spoke about Jesus’ departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him. 33 As the two men were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying. 34 Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe. 35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!” 36 Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They were speechless and at the time told no one what they had seen.


  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What are your favorite compliments to receive? Or how do you like to receive them?
  2. Art Project in a High School- You’re beautiful- Video
    1. Notice how their faced lit up? They were transformed by a simple kind word.

TRANSITION: Words are powerful tools. They can transform a situation from cold to warm. Words can build people up or they can tear them down.

  1. The last 6 weeks we have been in 1 Corinthians learning about how to be the church from Paul’s instructions to the Christians in Corinth.
  2. Today is Transfiguration Sunday and the “normal” thing to do is read the story of Jesus’ transfiguration and focus on that. Instead, I’d like to tie all our readings together.
  3. How will these words transform us?

MAIN TEXT: 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 12 So, since we have such a hope, we act with great confidence. 13 We aren’t like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites couldn’t watch the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. Right up to the present day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. The veil is not removed because it is taken away by Christ. 15 Even today, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But whenever someone turns back to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. 18 All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit….4 This is why we don’t get discouraged, given that we received this ministry in the same way that we received God’s mercy. Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth.


  1. CORINTHIANS: Vs 13- I’m unsure why Paul decides to paint Moses in a negative light in this passage. Paul makes it sound like Moses was embarrassed by his transformation. We can call this a reinterpretation of Exodus 34.
  2. EXODUS: Moses covers his face because everyone else is freaked out that he’s glowing. Moses’ spent time with God and he was changed physically. This scared the Israelites so much they said “God will be our God and we will be His people; but we don’t want to deal with Him directly. You be our mediator. … we don’t wanna look freaky like you because we might die.” (paraphrased)
    1. PSALM:  No wonder they were freaked out, we look at the words in Psalm 99 and see that being in God’s presence is intimidating.
  3. LUKE:  It doesn’t surprise me that the disciples behave like others that have gone before them. The are in awe (and maybe a little scared) when Jesus transfigures before them. His glory is revealed, they see Moses and Elijah and hear a voice confirming that this is the Messiah that Yahweh has promised. 


  1. Since creation, God has wanted a direct relationship with creation. And since the beginning, humans have continued to put a barrier up between us and God.
    1. We’ve feared God.
    2. We’ve doubted God.
    3. We’ve judged God.
    4. We’ve decided we know better than God.
  2. Yet, God continues to call us to a relationship. But the scary thing is, this relationship will change us.
    1. No, likely you won’t literally glow like Moses did. But as we step into a consistent relationship with God, we will be transformed.


  1. The transformation process is not for the faint of heart. We will no longer fit in with the standards of this world. Things like war, money, power, or politics lose their taste when we are growing in God’s Spirit.
    1. Instead of our own self-gains, we will be looking to care for all of creation. We will see each face as a beloved child of God rather than opposition.
  2. How do we grow in a deeper relationship with God? What leads to our transformation?
    1. Answer: Spiritual Disciplines– a fancy way of saying, finding unique and set aside time for your spiritual development.
  3. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT:  List off some spiritual disciplines
    1. Is this a struggle for you?
    2. Lists from online sources:
        1. Why Practice Spiritual DisciplinesTitus 2;11-15 & 1 Timothy 4:7-8
        2. Prayer & FastingMatthew 6:1-6, 16-18
        3. Simplicity & SubmissionPhilippians 4:10-13, Matthew 6:19-33
        4. Silence & SolitudeLuke 5:15-16 & 1 Kings 19:11-13
        5. Service & GivingMatthew 6:19-21 & Matthew 25:14-30
        6. Scripture: Study, Memorization, Contemplation & MeditationPsalm 119
      2. Wiki:
        1. prayerfasting, reading through the Christian Bible along with a daily devotional, frequent church attendance, constant partaking of the sacraments, such as the Eucharist, careful observance of the Lord’s Day (cf. Sunday Sabbatarianism), making a Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land, visiting and praying at a church, offering daily prayer at one’s home altar while kneeling at a prie-dieu, making a Spiritual CommunionChristian monasticismBible studychanting, the use of prayer beadsmortification of the fleshChristian meditation or contemplative prayer, almsgiving, blessing oneself at their home stoup daily, observing modest fashionreconciliation, and Lectio Divina.
        2. chastity, confession, fasting, fellowship, frugality, giving, guidance, hospitality, humility, intimacy, meditation, prayer, Quiet Time, reflection, self-control, servanthood, service, simplicity, singing, slowing, solitude, study, submission, surrender, teaching, and worship.
  4. Book recommendation: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
    1. Topical Parts
      1. Worship
      2. Open Myself to God
      3. Relinquish the False self
      4. Share My life with Others
      5. Hear God’s Word
      6. Incarnate the Love of Christ
      7. Pray
    2. Chapters Include
      1. Chart
        1. Desire
        2. Definition
        3. Scripture
        4. Practice includes
        5. God-Given Fruit
      1. Description, Reflection Questions, and Spiritual Exercises

CONCLUSION:  The Transfiguration of Christ revealed his divinity to his disciples. Moses’ transformation came from time with God. We are children of the divine, as we spend time with God, our spirit will be transformed like Moses and like Jesus.

PRAYER by Rev. Alex Smith

Moment of Silence during service included poem:

“I No Longer Pray For Peace”

By Ann Weems

On the edge of war, one foot already in,

I no longer pray for peace:

I pray for miracles.

I pray that stone hearts will turn

to tenderheartedness,

and evil intentions will turn

to mercifulness,

and all the soldiers already deployed

will be snatched out of harm’s way,

and the whole world will be

astounded onto its knees.

I pray that all the “God talk”

will take bones,

and stand up and shed

its cloak of faithlessness,

and walk again in its powerful truth.

I pray that the whole world might

sit down together and share

its bread and its wine.

Some say there is no hope,

but then I’ve always applauded the holy fools

who never seem to give up on

the scandalousness of our faith:

that we are loved by God……

that we can truly love one another.

I no longer pray for peace:

I pray for miracles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s