Blessed… What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain.  He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.  Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!”  Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anybody about the vision until the Human One is raised from the dead.” The disciples asked, “Then why do the legal experts say that Elijah must first come?” Jesus responded, “Elijah does come first and will restore all things.  In fact, I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they didn’t know him. But they did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way the Human One[b] is also going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples realized he was telling them about John the Baptist (Matthew 17:1-13, Common English Bible).

Just about all of us have had those moments when you just don’t know what to say in a given situation. It might be that someone has shocked us with some news that has left us speechless. It might be that someone does something unbelievable and we are dumbfounded. It might even be that we are just out of things to say.

Peter, James and John found themselves in the situation where someone did something unbelievable. In this case it was Jesus. First of all, his clothes became dazzling white. Do you remember the commercials for various bleach products who talk about how white they make your laundry? Yeah, they only wish. The Scripture says it was brighter than any bleach could make them.

That was followed up by another amazing event, two guys showed up that had been dead for centuries, Moses and Elijah. I am not sure how James, John and Peter knew who these two were. After all, the digital camera was still many centuries away! However they knew it, they did know.

Imagine yourself in the place of these three. If we are living the story, it would probably be a speechless moment. How do you explain something that can’t be explainable? Some of us are a lot like Peter in this story. We might not know what to say, but we would give it a shot.

Peter’s answer to “what to say when you don’t know what to say” was, “Lord it is a good thing we are here. Let us build to shrines (shelters, tabernacles, memorials, dwellings, booths, places), one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

For his part, Jesus doesn’t respond to Peter’s idea. After God instructs the three that Jesus is His beloved Son and that they should listen to him, Jesus took them down from the mountain.

Jesus’ lack of a response gives me an idea of what we should say when we don’t know what to say and I am one who really needs to learn from that. I find that I am far too much like Peter. I want to say something, even when I don’t know what to say.

I have learned in the past few years that silence is important. We need the time and the quiet if we want to hear the voice of God. That just might mean, when we don’t know what to say, it could be a clue to say nothing at all.

What do you say when you don’t know what to say?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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