“Cloudy Vision, Clear Vision”

On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about 3 people who told me that they had experienced visions and in each case they explained what I was supposed to do since, in their opinions, their visions were clear signs from God. The only problem was that I did not sense God speaking to me in those ways at all. I am not “anti-vision.” It’s just that I have a hard time believing everyone who tells me about their visions and especially if it involves action on my part—and even more so if they are the primary beneficiaries of their visions…and my actions.

In Luke’s story of Jesus’ transfiguration (Luke 9), Jesus, Peter, James and John all experienced a vision of Moses and Elijah showing up and confirming what lay ahead for Jesus: suffering, rejection and death. There are some important lessons about vision and visions in this story. For one thing, it is important to interpret all revelation with humility and openness. This is true if you are having a miraculous vision or if you are interpreting the Bible. We ought to be most concerned when we know for certain all of the details of what we are supposed to be doing in the world—and what those around us are supposed to be doing.

I love how the story in Luke ends in silence. With all the interpretations and opinions that are out there available to us 24/7 on our phones, computers and televisions, it is important to take a break and allow ourselves to be silent, as we contemplate what love feels like, and imagine how compassion might feel to those around us, and how grace might feel throughout the world.

As we begin the season of Lent, may we listen with humility and openness to the many ways God speaks to us, and may we pause often to allow ourselves to feel love in the midst of silence, and allow that love to overflow onto others.

Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana