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SOS offers ‘mountain top experience’ on Sunday

by E.D. Thyr

This Sunday morning, Feb. 25, during the 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. worship services, those attending Shepherd of the Sierra will be treated to a “mountain top experience,” the grand finale of the post Christmas season in the Christian church.

The Sundays immediately after Christmas, Christians focus their attention on the fact that the helpless baby born in Bethlehem grew up to be the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible readings for the Sundays after Christmas speak about Jesus as having authority.

Authority over nature, as he turns water into wine and produces a miraculous catch of fish for those who would become his followers. Authority over sickness, as he heals those who came to him. Authority over Satan, as he orders unclean spirits to leave a number of people. Authority in His message – as those who heard him observed.

And now, the climax, he takes Peter, James and John up to a high mountain and is transfigured before them — as the Bible puts it, “While he was praying. His face changed and his clothing became as bright as a flash of lightning…and a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Listen to Him!'” One final time during the season, Jesus is identified as the authority before the gathered church begins to focus on His suffering and death.

Next Wednesday, Feb. 2, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This is the time in church year when Christians examine in detail the sacrifice of God’s Only Son. We see him taken captive, mocked, spit on, beaten, judged falsely and nailed to the cross.

Shepherd of the Sierra will observe the penitential season of Lent with a worship service each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. Especially for those who work late, a soup supper will be provided at 6 p.m., so that preparing the evening meal that day will not deter them from worshipping.

As is the case with every part of the life of SOS, the community is welcome to participate in these services. Shepherd of the Sierra is located just north of Target and Home Depot on the west side of Highway 395. Watch for the American and Christian flags flying above the youth/ed facility where Lenten services will be held.

For more information about these services and SOS, call 267-3680.

n E.D. Thyr is pastor of Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church.