Gill and I very much enjoyed our weekend away in Sidmouth, Devon, including being able to worship last Sunday morning at All Saints Church. The preacher spoke about the above words, drawing from the account of Jesus’ transfiguration. You may remember that, after seeing Jesus transfigured before him, Peter blurted out “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You wish, I will put up three shelters – one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17v4).
Peter’s proposal was very much based on the principle of the above words – I can’t sit around here doing nothing, I must get on and do something!
Now the active service of God to the very best of our abilities and in every area we are called to serve, is vital in God’s Kingdom. The church is a battleship or a hospital ship, with everyone required to be at ‘action stations’, rather than a passenger cruise liner. However, at the same time, we are also called to be still, to listen, to wait, to meditate on God. Jesus told Martha, who was “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made”, that Mary’s choice of sitting at His feet, listening to what He said, was the “one thing …. needed” (Luke 10v38-42).
Significantly, God cuts right across Peter’s suggestion with these words: “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17v5). Let us serve the Lord faithfully and wholeheartedly but not allow such service to get in the way of listening to Him. It is not what we do that defines us, but who we are in Christ. Sometimes it’s OK to “just sit there and BE” (in God’s presence).
Peace and Grace