Tune out the rebellious, deceiving sounds that fill this day, and let silence fill your space.
There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said,“Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.” That testimony is true. (NRSV)
“Cretans are always liars.” This quote from the Epimenides paradox is to challenge Titus to a bit of self-introspection. Paul is writing to the church in Crete, after all. The leaders in Crete were trouble-makers, rebellious and deceiving, specifically in their teaching. They paid little regard for the harm they wrought to family and community in seeking their improper gains through political deception. This part of Paul’s letter ought to feel familiar to us in our own tumultuous days before the elections. Let us reflect inwardly and ask; are we speaking as we should speak? Do our words tell of God’s righteousness or are we teaching a different ‘truth’? Do we listen with rapt attention for God’s call for us or do we repeat the reverberating sound-bites of idle speakers of vague promises and prideful boasts, who make truth and untruth indistinguishable? Seek a place of silence today, and while in that awesome space, hear the quiet voice of God always speaking. God’s promises are true and righteous.
God, give us this day holy space to find our silence, a place to be still and seek your loving presence. Let it strengthen and secure us against the winds of rhetoric that blow us away from our path to salvation. Let us gain discernment that we may understand your Word, how it differs from the deceptive words of others, who are often liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons, and sometimes even ourselves. Amen.
Go with God!