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When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone

When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. (Luke 9:36 NRSV Bible)

There seems to be no escape from noise in our society. Wouldn't it be nice though, from time to time, to experience what Peter, James and John experienced on the mountain of the Transfiguration? They had gone away to a secluded spot for prayer with the Master. Doubtless they were not prepared for what happened there.
It is interesting that on the two occasions when Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a secluded spot for prayer, the disciples fell asleep. It was these same three who nodded off while Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. This time when they awakened, however, they experienced something that they would never forget. They were not only in the presence of Jesus, but also two of the most significant figures of the Old Testament--Moses, representing the Law and Elijah, representing the prophets.

Doubtless the three disciples were stunned. Peter spoke up and declared, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." Good old Simon Peter. Putting in his 2 cents worth as usual. About this time a cloud--the symbol of God's presence--moved in and enshrouded them and they were afraid. A voice spoke from the cloud, "This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to Him!" When the voice had spoken and the cloud departed, Moses and Elijah had vanished. Luke tells us that in the face of this experience the three disciples kept silent and told no one anything of what they had seen.

What was there to say? There are some experiences for which words are inadequate. How can words express what you feel when you first hold your new-born child? What words are adequate to comfort one who has lost their life's partner? Even more strikingly, what can you say when you have been in the presence of the living God? Luke tells us that they "kept silence," and that is an appropriate response. Do you honor appropriate times for silence?


Dear God, help me to learn to be silent, and help me to use my silence to listen to you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Ron Newhouse


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