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Sunday, March 3, 2019

"The boy with the shining face"

Welcome to Parkrose Village Congregation 3/3/19

This is the message I brought to the residents of our Parkrose United Congregation at Parkrose Village on 3/3/19.

“The Boy with the Shining Face”

 2 Cor 3  18 But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.
Have you ever seen anyone glow?
We sometime make remarks about people we see in various circumstances.
We talk about them “glowing” or perhaps “Beaming”.
It can be a proud parent glowing in pride when their son or daughter has won a prestigious medal, award or competition.
It can be a bride and groom glowing as they exchange their wedding vows.
When I was a wedding photographer I used to stop couples half way down the aisle of the church ,just after they have been pronounced man and wife, to take a couple of quick photos.
My idea was to capture the “glow” from their faces.
What I call the newly wed glowing bliss look.
It was one of my must get shots.
When a young mum holds her new babe in her arms for the first time there is often a real glow notwithstanding the exhaustion.
When you see a group of performers taking their bows at the conclusion of a great performance, and they are given a standing ovation, they fairly glow with pride.
Particularly when their family and loved ones are in the audience.
We saw this  the other night at the Opera Tosca.
There were lot’s of people glowing this last Monday when people were presented with their Academy Awards.
And some of the people who came forward at the recent Franklin Graham crusade and their counsellors were probably glowing within and without.
And I could go on with lots of examples where we say people fairly glowed.
They have an expression on their face that radiates joy.
We have a passage read to us today that shows the experience of Moses who went from glowing joy when he received the 10 commandments to soon putting a veil over his face as the joy, the glow, was fading.
29 Moses didn’t realize as he came back down the mountain with the tablets that his face glowed from being in the presence of God. 30 Because of this radiance upon his face, Aaron and the people of Israel were afraid to come near him.
31 But Moses called them over to him, and Aaron and the leaders of the congregation came and talked with him. 32 Afterwards, all the people came to him, and he gave them the commandments the Lord had given him upon the mountain. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face;[a] 34 but whenever he went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he removed the veil until he came out again; then he would pass on to the people whatever instructions God had given him, 35 and the people would see his face aglow. Afterwards he would put the veil on again until he returned to speak with God.
And we read also.
12 Since we know that this new glory will never go away, we can preach with great boldness, 13 and not as Moses did, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelis could not see the glory fade away.
He did not want people to see how he was really feeling.
He was perhaps thinking his people would never live up to these commandments.
Some have said that the people could not cope with seeing his face,his countenance ,glowing like it did when he had been in the presence of God in the Tabernacle.
He would put the veil on when he came out of the Tabernacle and remove it when he went back in as high priest to converse with God in person.
There has been much written about this veil Moses wore and also we think of what happened to the curtain, the veil, in the temple which was split from top to bottom when Jesus was crucified.
This signified that from that time on, through Jesus death on the cross, and His resurrection that we all had the opportunity to enter into the presence of God, made Holy by what Jesus has done for us.
Veils are still in use today of course.
Various religions have traditions about wearing a veil.
It was common once, and still is in some societies, for a Bride to wear a veil as she was about to be married.
Some say this was so the bridegroom was not distracted by her looks but was marrying her for the person she was.
As Christians today we are not precluded from the presence of God by a veil.
There is another passage that was recommended for this Sunday in the lectionary.
It is partly what suggested my title and subject matter.
I will read it for you.
It is bringing us forward to the ministry of Jesus.
37 The next day as they descended from the hill, a huge crowd met him, 38 and a man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, this boy here is my only son, 39 and a demon keeps seizing him, making him scream; and it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth; it is always hitting him and hardly ever leaves him alone. 40 I begged your disciples to cast the demon out, but they couldn’t.”
41 “O you stubborn faithless people,” Jesus said to his disciples,[a] “how long should I put up with you? Bring him here.”
42 As the boy was coming the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus ordered the demon to come out, and healed the boy and handed him over to his father.
43 Awe gripped the people as they saw this display of the power of God.
This is an encounter and healing that Jesus did with a man and his demon possessed son.
This family was in a terrible plight.
There were no joy filled faces here.
Not so until Jesus performed His miracle and set the lad free of his tormentors.
43 Awe gripped the people as they saw this display of the power of God.
Can you imagine the joy that filled that father.
The glory of God was manifested here.
My imagination enables me to see this boy’s glowing wonderment, his shining face as he was set free.
“The boy with the shining face”.
We can only speculate what lay ahead for his boy.
We trust he was able to share his story with others to point them to Jesus.
We have all probably had our day in the sun where we beamed with joy in various experiences.
Even at our baptism perhaps.
I have witnessed many baptisms where the candidates were positively beaming as they rose up out of the water.
But how long do our shining faces last?
We can have a wonderful experience as we come into a real faith with the Lord Jesus.
The one who died on the cross for us.
But life is difficult.
We have many challenges along the way where we might lose some of our shine.
The cares of this world can at times overwhelm us
It is very easy to lose sight of the wonderful face of Jesus when we are in extreme difficulties or just a long period of hardship.
We could easily lose some of that shine in Parkrose.
We can get down in the dumps.
But the way back to Joy is to fix our eyes firmly on Him.
We can do that in these opportunities we have in our worship, as we touch heaven through our singing.
We can do it quietly in our rooms in prayer, and if we are able to read our Bibles, or have them read to us by a visit from the Chaplain or a Christian friend.
Or have fellowship with each other.
We can even minister to each other.
Here in this place.
We can forgive those that have wronged us.
That will always restore joy if we do it from the heart.
Shall we leave this place today with shining faces as we have been in the Lord’s presence?
18 But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.

Will we be like the boy with the shining face?
I hope so.
Our last Hymn is an old one that Lesley remembered from the Alexanders Hymn book.
"Brighten the corner where you are".
It is our challenge today, as Christians who largely have lost our mobility and ability to venture out into the world.
Earlier we sang “I hear you calling Lord, I will go where you send me.!” 
But most of us can’t go too far.
But we can indeed Brighten the Corner where we are.
Shall we sing it.

1.     Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.
o   Refrain:
Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!
  1. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  2. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

 Here is the order of service for the day.

Parkrose 03/3/19  Order of Service
Welcome: Geoff
Call to worship:  Matthew 5:16
Hymn: “Shine Jesus Shine”
Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18,
Hymn: “Within the veil”  “Into thy presence we come.”
Church Prayer
Hymn:   “I the Lord of Sea and Sky”
Sermon: “The boy with the shining face”
Hymn: “Brighten the corner where you are”
Benediction and Vesper


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