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I always thought that the famous Cone of Silence was one of the goofy inventions devised by the creators of Get Smart. But having just finished a spy book on the Penkovsky case, (a Russian working for both the CIA and MI6 during the Cold War), I now realise that the American Embassy in Moscow actually used one. They believed, rightly, that the Embassy was bugged, and so created a perspex prism under which they held their secret meetings.
I think that Jesus’ disciples probably thought that their ambitious conversation about leadership happened under a cone of silence. (Mark 9 records the disciples arguing about who was the greatest.) For when Jesus made it clear that he knew what they had been speaking about, they responded sheepishly and with embarrassment, for their conversation had been unwise and inappropriate.
It’s sobering to think that God hears our private words and conversations. Things said in secret places. Things whispered in a corner. And how sobering to think that he will require us to answer for every word. The word ‘sheepish’ is not strong enough to describe how we will feel on that last great day. ‘Shame-faced’ might be closer. The prophet Isaiah used the word ‘undone’. How good to know that there is another covering for us to endure the judicial probing of an omniscient and holy God. The Cone of Grace. A covering not made with perspex, but with the righteousness of a Lamb.
DM 3rd October 2017