Transcript of on-line service for Kilrenny Parish Church Sunday 14th February 2021.

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Order of Service for Sunday 14th February 2021

Online worship


The You Tube link is:



Welcome to worship with the community of Kilrenny Parish Church. We may not be able to worship in the Church building at this time, but we can still come together as a worshiping community to give thanks and praise God.


This morning I feel like a bit of an intruder. It was only a day or two ago I realised the significance of today’s date, so if you don’t watch this on Valentines Day, I don’t blame you. I just hope that you are spoiling those you love and appreciating the relationships you have with family and friends. The beauty of Online Services is that you can watch them whenever you have the time.


Call to Worship

Let us come to worship God.


Lord Jesus, you call us to be your people in this place. Give us a sense of your power in our lives, your love in our hearts, and your joy in all we do. Join with us now as we worship you this day.



Hymn CH 124                        Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation


Opening Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray:

Creator God

who spoke light into primordial darkness,

who ‘speaks and summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to its setting’,

we gather to You,

Your faithful yet fragile ones.


With ‘the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ’:

Give us eyes to see and ears to hear.


Acknowledging that You dwell

beyond our comprehension,

worshipped by the universe itself,

we thank You for emptying Yourself of glory

in the person of Jesus Christ,

and through Him illuminating our path back to You.


In this moment of silence we name Your blessings to us


Recalling that You first loved us:

Give us grateful hearts to receive Your blessings.

We confess

that the light of the gospel,

Your divine image in Christ and His people,

is veiled to us when

we pursue the empty promises of

our idols.


Our daily preoccupations obscure

the sacred bonds You created between us

the church, the one household of God;

while our projects of self-advancement cause injury

to the body of Christ.


The sickly glow of

higher status,

greater wealth,

worldly recognition,

distract us from the life giving

Sun of righteousness

who gave up His status

to make us children and heirs of God.


We know that we fall short of this calling every day

and name in our hearts those ways in which we have sinned

in thought, word, deed and in what we have failed to do...

Confident in the righteousness of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ

Lift up our heads in the life-giving knowledge of Your forgiveness.

And now, we join our voices together in the Prayer Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever




Reading: 2 Kings 2: 1 – 12

The time came for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, and on the way Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the Lord has ordered me to go to Bethel.”


But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living Lord and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on to Bethel.


A group of prophets who lived there went to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master away from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha answered. “But let's not talk about it.”

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the Lord has ordered me to go to Jericho.” But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living Lord and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on to Jericho.


A group of prophets who lived there went to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master away from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha answered. “But let's not talk about it.”

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the Lord has ordered me to go to the Jordan River.” But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living Lord and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on, and fifty of the prophets followed them to the Jordan. Elijah and Elisha stopped by the river, and the fifty prophets stood a short distance away.


Then Elijah took off his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the water with it; the water divided, and he and Elisha crossed to the other side on dry ground. There, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what you want me to do for you before I am taken away.”

“Let me receive the share of your power that will make me your successor,” Elisha answered. “That is a difficult request to grant,” Elijah replied. “But you will receive it if you see me as I am being taken away from you; if you don't see me, you won't receive it.”

They kept talking as they walked on; then suddenly a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire came between them, and Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind. Elisha saw it and cried out to Elijah, “My father, my father! Mighty defender of Israel! You are gone!” And he never saw Elijah again.

In grief Elisha tore his cloak in two.


St Mark 9: 2 – 9

Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. As they looked on, a change came over Jesus, and his clothes became shining white—whiter than anyone in the world could wash them. Then the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say.

Then a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my own dear Son—listen to him!” They took a quick look around but did not see anyone else; only Jesus was with them.

As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has risen from death.”

Amen, the word of God for the people of God.


Hymn CH 356                        Meekness and Majesty


Reflection: “Lives Transformed”

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of each of our hearts be acceptable in your sight Lord, amen.


This morning I’ve combined the two readings of transformation from the Old and New Testaments. I’ve not been using the Old Testament very often in recent times as the demands of an online service seem to be to keep things short and to the point. However, today, these two stories are so closely intertwined that we can’t ignore the manner that Elijah is taken up to heaven because of his reappearance on the mountaintop with Moses and Jesus during the transfiguration.


These events, witnessed by a few but told to many, mark a turning point in the lives of those involved, but also those who were witnesses. What they saw were specific moments in time when the ordinary, everyday world was touched by God’s eternal world.


The concept that our reality is only a pale shadow of some greater reality, is a common motif among philosophers. The Greek philosopher Plato used the allegory of the Cave to indicate how our chains of ignorance keep us from seeing the greater reality beyond our small world of shadows. The apostle Paul, writing to the Church in Corinth put it another way:

 What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God's knowledge of me. (1 Cor 13 v.12)

Elisha, Elijah’s student, is like those living in the Cave. He knows in his heart what is going to happen, but lives in denial, not wanting to talk about the upcoming loss of his mentor and teacher because he will have to stand on his own two feet and face the world without the safety net of Elijah by his side. The reality of Elijah’s departure is so overwhelming that he tears his clock in two, the sign of mourning. Elisha is taken out of his comfort zone and, like all of us at some point, he has to face the future alone: a future he knows will be full of turmoil.


The Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop, in front of His closest disciples, serves two purposes:

  • A sign of God’s divine acknowledgement of Jesus’ mission;
  • And a sign that Jesus would not always be with them.


For a moment, the veil is pulled back for the disciples to see a new reality, the beauty of God’s reality and the possibilities that await them when they live in God’s glory. Beautiful as that was, on another level it must also have been a terrifying prospect, as they have the realisation that they will not always have Jesus at their sides to lead them to that promised land they have just glimpsed. As the theologian, Prof. Tom Wright remarks, the transfiguration is as much about the transforming power of God on ordinary people’s lives as it is about proclaiming Jesus His own dear Son.





There is always the temptation to prolong that moment of glory. Elisha tries to stop Elijah from going to his fate and Peter wants to set up camp in the hope that the great prophets of Israel’s past will continue their conversation with Jesus for longer. But God only allows us fleeting moments of this feeling on glory: enough to tantalise, but not so much that we can’t cope with the vastness of His reality.


In our lives, we will occasionally catch glimpses of that greater reality, but in truth, we are rarely ready to receive the full impact of God’s glory in our lives as it would be too much for us, so God is careful to allow us those special moments without overwhelming us.


We ought to capture those instants and store them away in our minds, knowing that, like the shadows on the cave walls or the reflection in the dark glass, there is a greater reality awaiting us when we receive our final reward for a life lived in faith as God calls us home to live in glory with Him and all the prophets for eternity.

Amen, and may God add His blessing to these words.


Prayers of Intercession

Blessed are you Lord God our Father.

You have revealed your hidden glory

In the face of our Lord Jesus Christ;

In Christ you have given us hope of life eternal.


Bless your Church, O Lord,

With the radiance of your presence.

Wherever we worship you may we bow before your glory.

We ask you to transform with your brightness

All worship that appears to be dull or lifeless.

Fill all teachers and preachers

With a vision of your glory.


Glorious God,

Give us a glimpse of your glory.


Lord of light, transform the dark places of the world

By your presence.

We remember all who live in slums and shantytowns,

Let the radiance of your presence

Bring hope to their lives.


Glorious God,

Give us a glimpse of your glory.




Glorious God, fill our homes with your love

And our lives with your glory.

Be with us and all our loved ones

And deliver us from darkness.


We remember all who suffer,

All who are in hospital,

All who are lonely and feel rejected,

All whose lives are in a dark cloud.

We think of those are fearful of the future

And those whose lives are full of sadness.

Lord, may the light of your love transform their lives

And now, in the silence of our hearts we remember all those we know of in need of your comfort, care and compassion       

Glorious God,

Give us a glimpse of your glory.


Give us a glimpse of your glory

And awareness of your gift of eternal life.

As we rejoice in the fellowship of all your saints,

Grant to our loved ones departed

The joy and glory of your Kingdom.



Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers

For the sake of your Son,

Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.



Hymn CH 348                        Praise the One who breaks the darkness



Deep peace of the running wave to you.

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.

Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the infinite peace to you

These things we ask in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.