Week 6: Transfiguration Sunday – But Only Jesus
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal. (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share their response to the question, “When is the last time you experienced wonder or awe? Where were you?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read Mark 9:2-9.
- Why do you think Moses and Elijah are part of this scene? [Moses likely represents the law, and Elijah represents the prophets. One greater than the law and prophets is standing among them!] How does their importance magnify the importance of Jesus as God’s Son?
- How is this passage connected to the first passage we explored in this series (baptism of Jesus)? What do both of these passages have in common? [God’s voice speaking over Jesus.] How do both stories reveal Jesus’ identity and mission? [In Jesus’ baptism, the reader learns of Jesus’ identity. In the transfiguration, Jesus’ identity and authority are affirmed.]
- The last few passages we have explored showed Jesus healing and casting out demons – meeting the needs of the people. In this passage, we, like Peter, James, and John, stand in awe of who Jesus is. How is Jesus’ healings and casting out of demons connected to the voice from the cloud in verse 7? [These were ways Jesus displayed the coming of God’s kingdom and God’s work through him.] How is this command, to “listen to him!” also for disciples of Jesus today? When is the last time you stood in awe of Jesus? Where do you need Jesus to speak in your life?
- In the first couple of weeks, we were invited to reread the baptismal and Communion liturgies as resources for understanding our identity and mission as disciples. Another resource that helps us understand what we believe about God as disciples is the Nicene Creed. Read this creed as a group. What do you learn about Jesus? God? About being a disciple?
- Once again, we see Jesus tell the disciples not to share what they had seen (until later). How do those of us who live post-Resurrection tell about this Jesus? How is telling and sharing our faith a vital part of our discipleship?
- How do you feel called to grow as a disciple? How might this group help?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer or read the following prayer in unison:
Covenant God, we stand in awe of your love. Your love seeks not punishment, but the reconciliation of the world. Give us the hands to serve and the words to proclaim your forgiving grace to all we encounter. Empower us to be disciples of Jesus Christ who help transform the world. Amen.
Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org
Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People, https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/engaging-your-community-a-guide-to-seeing-all-the-people-2/
Forming Disciples Through Worship, https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/forming-disciples-through-worship/
How to Have a Courageous Conversation, https://discipleship-ministries.teachable.com/p/courageous-conversation
“How to Start Small Groups,” https://discipleship-ministries.teachable.com/courses/
“Making the Most of Online Small Groups,” https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/making-the-most-of-online-small-groups
Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness, https://upperroombooks.com/soulreset/