We live in a world of noise and bustle.  With 24 hour tv and radio, we need never be in silence.  With Twitter and Facebook, we can be told day and night what people are up to – whether we want to know or not.

Noise, noise, noise.

Yet so often our lives are so noisy, we miss the things we need to hear; we live so much on information overload that we miss the information we needed.  Sometimes we need to take a step back, and listen for what we really need to hear

This weeks lectionary readings point us to taking time out.

Moses is called by God to come up the mountain and spend some time with him.  To leave the community he was leading to take time and opportunity to hear what it was God needed to say to them all.  God is going to give him the laws his people needed.  Moses needed to spend time with God alone to receive them.

The gospel story is really amusing.  Jesus invites Peter, James and John to come with him, to go up the mountain where they can be alone together.  As they spend time together Jesus visibly changes, and two other figures appear – Moses and Elijah.

How awesome it must have been to be there in that presence – and Peter starts talking about building shelters.  What a ridiculous thing to do and say!  We all know those moments when someone feels they need to fill the silence.  But Peter has missed the point.  Nothing needs to be done.  There are no words to be said.  This is to be experienced.  And God has something to say.

When Peter does finally stop talking nonsense a cloud appears, envelopes them, and the voice of God gives this instruction to Peter, James, and John: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!” That’s it. Very short. To the point.

God offers a special glimpse of who Jesus is and what he is about, and Peter is in danger of missing it, because he feels the need to say something.

Some times we just need to shut up!  We need not say anything, but gaze in awe and wonder at what God is, who Jesus is, and all that he offers to us.

Or there can be the wrong kind of quiet – the pain of isolation and loneliness.  God speaks into those moments too, and fills them with his presence.


As we come to the beginning of Lent it perhaps offers us that challenge – take take time in God’s presence.  We may feel guilty if we aren’t being busy, or doing the things we think we should be doing.  But we all need to take the time and make the effort to hear God.  There is a ministry in being still before God – for ourselves and others – to reflect the glory of God into a world too busy to stop or too disinterested to look for themselves.  We each of us need to take time, to stop, and to listen to God – or we may miss something he is trying to tell us.


So, as Jesus invites us into his presence, as God day by day reveals his glory to us – lets pause and gaze in awe and wonder.  Stopping to listen.


I come to you,

rest in your presence

and wait.

As I take the time

to pause with you

may I hear clearly

what you have to say,

and be renewed.

~ by pamjw on March 1, 2011.

One Response to “Shhh…”

  1. […] disciples were masters of getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, or missing the point – even in this passage, which is meant to be a […]

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