As I was writing my sermon this week I was entertained by Peter’s interruption of the whole transfiguration moment. As Jesus is conversing with Elijah and Moses, Peter interjects with an offer to built a tent for Jesus and the moment is over. In the bible it actually goes like this:
“…And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.”
Mark 9:4-8 NIV
As soon as Peter tries to take some control of the situation God steps in, clouds the scene over and in effect says listen to my son. It’s a very strong statement. It’s an important moment. God seems to be reminding Peter that listening is good. Peter loses his vision when he tries to take control. He loses the connection when he jumps in before it’s his time to participate.
I think this is something we can all learn from. When we try to take control of things and don’t allow God to guide us we can find our vision shut out. It is important to follow Jesus. We must listen to him as God commands. We need to discern his path for us before we jump in and try to help fix things.
In a time of panic in our churches this is an important reminder that we are not to be in control. It’s not about our comfort or easing our fears but instead about learning and listening. Once we take a step back and begin to listen with our hearts we may find that our fears are eased and we have direction once more.