We email. We chat. We text. We tweet. We post. We blog. We feed. We surf. We kindle. We self-publish. We Wikipedi-ize. And does anybody know how many titles are available on Amazon.com? We have satellite talk radio 24-7 and digital television channels in the hundreds. Song lyrics, magazines, t-shirts, point-of-purchase and outdoor advertising all add to our inundation with words. But how many of them really matter? And what about speech? What about all the words I utter every day? What does all my talking accomplish? Is there something to be said for silence?
Now, Peter was a talker. He was a first-talker and a fast-talker. Ask a question and Peter is immediately responding. He is a passionate talker. "Everyone else may desert You, Lord, but I will never leave you. I'll die wiith You before I'll leave You." That's what he said. But less than twelve hours later he is saying something quite different -- "I don't know this Jesus." "Do you hear me? I have no acquaintance with the man." "Listen, g-- d--- it, I don't know Him!"
Fearful lies. Foolish talk. Useless words. The result - he weeps uncontrollably.
Judas was a talker. He was a sly-talker. A deal-striker. And double-tongued. (see John 12:4-6) One minute he wants to sell ointment for money for the poor, the next minute he's selling Jesus for his own gain. Pangs of conscience seize him, and now he wants nothing to do with the money. His words of remorse fall on deaf ears.
Deadly dialogue. Foolish talk. Useless words. The result - he hangs himself.
Enter Jesus. As the rabble keeps raging and the religionists keep accusing and the governor keeps probing, Jesus ...
In the cacophony of useless words, Jesus stands silent with the testimony of a life of purity, prophecy and service. The wake of His words and work swell around Him who without a sound resounds with divinity, and leaves the whole world babbling without knowledge. If only everyone would just shut up. If only the politicians and the priests and the populous would just be quiet - stop texting, stop tweeting, stop posting, stop blogging
and listen with their souls to the eloquent silence of the presence of God.
"Be still, and know that I am God," the psalmist urges us to sing. (46:10)
Finally. Some useful words.