Mark 9:2-9 (NRSV)
Verse 2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, Verse 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. Verse 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Verse 5Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Verse 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Verse 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" Verse 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
Verse 9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
During this story of the mind-blowing experience of the Transfiguration the disciples hear a clear instruction to listen to Jesus. For readers of Mark’s Gospel this seems especially important, since in Mark’s story, as many have noted, the disciples seem consistently to misunderstand things Jesus says to them. Often what Jesus says is not what they expect or want to hear or contrary to what the authoritative voices of their day say is so.
For us too there is often a cacophony of voices all vying for our attention. I recently heard someone say that we live in an attention economy, meaning that those who make it in business, or those churches or institutions that are successful, are those who get and keep getting people’s attention. As people of faith, it is not about us being flashy or loud or entertaining. We are first called to listen—to listen to one and only one voice, that of Jesus.
The din of this world is often deafening, O Lord. Give us ears to hear and hearts and minds to discern what is your voice and then the will to follow. Amen.