The Holy Gospel: February 19, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  Mark 9:2-9

Meditation:  “The Voice”

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I approach biblical texts and other literature trying to “find something new” for the edification of our faith.   But I also think there are times when it’s good to just let the traditional reading soak back into us with new influence.

That’s the way the story of the Transfiguration has worked itself out in me this time around.  This time, I am struck afresh (not anew) with the fact that the voice of God was heard by everyone.

Is there any greater lesson to be taken from this story than that?  What more do we seek than to hear God’s voice?  I have never done that in an audible way, but I have “sensed” it in ways that have significantly shaped and sometimes altered my life.  I have made major decisions based on the conviction that I have heard God’s voice.

Personally, I am glad that I don’t “hear” God’s voice every day—that is, I’m glad that I can receive guidance through Scripture and tradition, as interpreted and proclaimed by the Christian community.  This keeps me from becoming passive and waiting to say or do something until I “hear” from God.  Scripture and tradition gives me plenty of revelation to enact every day.

But….I am also glad that God has a “voice” and sees fit to use it occasionally.  I am glad that I can add to my sense of guidance a conviction that I have been personally addressed by the true and living God.

I’m sure there are those who look at us and think were pathological.  And there is an alleged “hearing from God” that comes from sickness rather than health.

But….what happened on the mountain long ago and what continues to happen today is not pathology, it’s communion—the Holy Spirit addressing the human spirit.  And in our overall formation we need to have “ears to hear” when God chooses to speak.


About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to The Holy Gospel: February 19, 2012 (Year B)

  1. jolhowell says:

    Yes, yes, yes!!! I too have never heard God’s voice in an audible way, but have at times “’sensed’ it in ways that have significantly shaped and sometimes altered my life.” I recall tone time vividly, eight years into a very difficult decade of my life, when I “heard” God speak to me these profound and very needed words, “Shut your mouth!” That imperative, which definitely got my attention, was followed with the wise counsel to love a certain person in my life and to let God do any necessary changing. I did (quit nagging) and God did, the changing that is, in both of us, “speaking” through the life-giving words of Scripture, tradition and our faith community.

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