March 17th, 2011 by bwimadmin
Peter and two other disciples traveled with Jesus to the top of a mountain. There on the mountain they experienced an event known to us as the Transfiguration. Jesus was transformed before their eyes, his face shone brightly, and his clothes were sparkling white. Elijah and Moses appeared before them and had a conversation with Jesus. The unimaginable happened for Peter and the other disciples. These great men of faith, men whom they talked about and quoted, actually appeared in their presence.
Peter’s awe and excitement about what he had seen led him to proclaim how good it was for them to be there and how they needed to build three booths or tabernacles–one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. The insinuation was that Peter wanted to honor the experience and never leave. Just a few verses before this scripture passage, Peter answered Jesus’ questions about his identity. Peter might have offered the correct answer to the questions, but he did not yet understood its meaning. He wanted to live in this place forever. He wanted to memorialize the event rather than follow Jesus in his future and coming departure.
While he was speaking, Peter was interrupted by a bright cloud and a loud voice saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”
I’ve always known there’s a difference in hearing and listening, but as a new parent I’m learning about that difference in a whole new way. I hear noises all around me throughout the day. I hear the news on television and hear conversations with my husband about his day at work. However, just hearing my son’s cries is not discerning enough to know how to respond to him. I have learned that I must listen to distinguish his cries from hunger from his cries of exhaustion. As caregivers of children know, standing at the foot of the bed or the side of the crib listening to the patterns of your child’s breathing is one of the most intense moments before being able to relax and drift off into your own sleep. Listening requires us to practice stillness and give attention to what is happening or being said in the moment.
God commanded the disciples to listen to Jesus. Not to just hear him saying words but to intently listen to the message behind what he was saying. It was important because there was a message for them in what he was saying. They were invited to follow Jesus. They were invited to intersect their lives with his life.
God’s message to the disciples on the mountain was to listen, listen and pay close attention to Jesus in the days to come. God’s message to us is the same—listen, listen and pay close attention to Jesus in the days to come.
LeAnn Gunter Johns is a Baptist minister. She has served churches in Georgia and California and now spends much of her time listening to the sounds made by her amazing four-month-old son.
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2011 at 12:53 pm and is filed under Advent/Lent, Being the Church, Motherhood and Ministry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.