Transfiguration Story in Matthew 17:1-9 is a passage that can spark much debate on its meaning. To sum up, Jesus goes to pray on a mountain with Peter the two brothers to pray. Next thing the disciples know, Jesus is talking to Elijah and Moses. Peter, being the usual outburst of a man, starts planning to build a monument for the event. But God says to be silent and to listen.
I think the concept of silence is very important to this story.
How many times do we try to honor God by doing the first thing that comes to mind?
How often does that form of worship become busy work and leave no room for silent reflection?
The main question is how open are we? Peter had the right desire was in the right place. Many people have this same desire today, but so much of the desire is misguided with loud shows, catchy sermons, and ceremonies of feel-good spirituality. God is asking something else. The temptation to raise monuments and celebrate loudly is strong in us. We are a very ritual based species. But God wants an ear. Too much action can lead to an over bearingly noisy culture that drowns out the Holy Spirit.
How many of us are going here and there for this or that event? Busy living can be filled with school, sports, dances, proms, deadlines, overtimes, Church events, and even our own personal hobbies. For Peter, it was even his outspoken religious zeal. God wants us to spend some time away from that. It’s not bad, but cut out a part of your day just to sit in silent prayer. Don’t say anything. Just listen. Maybe Christ has something for you to hear today.
Check out what writer Ian Michael Cron says on this subject.
Here is a quote that is challenging me today. I confess to God that I have complained about my job, life, and other things. I struggle to move to thankfulness in order to reach adoration of my King.
“Try to live one entire day in utter thanksgiving. Balance every complaint with ten gratitudes, every criticism with ten compliments. When we practice gratitude, a time will come when we find ourselves say ‘not please, but thank you’ as Annie Dillard notes in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.” – Richard Foster, Prayer
This reading is from Richard Foster’s Prayer. It is very hard sometimes to keep up the effort to retreat to prayer. Remember that God is drawing you and you are responding by seeking time with Him. Let Him seclude you at some point today.
“Blessed Savior, I pace back and forth at the altar of commitment. I really do want a fixed habit of Prayer…Help me to so delight in your presence that I will want to come home to you often.”
Hear this quote by the contemporary Christian discipline author Richard Foster.
“None of us will keep up a life of prayer unless we are prepared to change. We will either give it up or turn it into a little system that maintains the form of godliness but denies the power of it – which is the same thing as giving it up.” Prayer, pg. 57
When you pray today, ask what you are willing to change in yourself so that you can be made more like Christ.