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God Sightings and Hearings

Our congregation is beginning God Sightings, which is more than a Bible study, more than a devotional. It's a means to look for ways in which God is at work in our everyday lives. The program consists of scripture reading from a one year Bible and a companion guide for journalling.  We will officially begin this study in Lent and it will continue beyond that time. Our hope is that God's people at Bethel Lutheran Church, Portville, NY, where I serve as pastor, will embrace this opportunity to engage scripture, our faith and God in a way that we have never done before. It is my conviction that if each of us does this, God will turn our lives and our church upside down.

Speaking of God sightings, this Sunday's gospel on the transfiguration is a case of God sightings and hearings. Some questions came out as we talked about the text at Bible study Tuesday night. We attempted to discern what God was doing in that text, what God is saying to us personally and what God is saying to our congregation. Our questions were:
1. What do we miss when we don't go into God's presence?
2. Do we expect to hear from God when we pray?
3. Do we expect God to show up?
4. Do we settle?
We also felt that God is challenging us as a community to expect great things from God, to go out from the glory of God into the needy world, to stay awake and listen to God and to let God's greatness astound us!

It is with these questions and statements in mind that I have approached this gospel passage for this Transfiguration Sunday. A couple of additional thoughts have occured to me, the first a question of my own, "What voice do each of us hear?" and a thought that the transfiguration is an example of a God sighting (and hearing) par excellence. We'll see where the Spirit leads as I further engage God's word.

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