Sunday, May 9, 2010

Quiet Time

I am guilty of enjoying music... I listen online, I listen to my cds, I listen to Sirius XM, I listen to radio... But there are wonderful moments of silence... when all the media is turned off...  Sunday morning from about 5-6:30 am is one of those times... time for silence without interruption...

I expect we do not value silence much.  At most restaurants you can hardly talk for the loudness of the music and atmosphere around you.  The retail establishments play music or some sort of sound tracks continually.  It is hard to find a place to enjoy silence without the cell phone going off, the land line going off, the TV on in the background, the sound of motorcycle tearing up the highway, or a deep bass pumping out rhythm at the stoplight.

I grew up listening to the sounds of silence extolled in music that was not so silent.  Today kids are apt to equate silence with boredom and being bored is the greatest of all modern day sins.

We offer few silent moments in worship -- largely because people do not know what to do with them and assume somebody forgot their part...  but silence can be a very fruitful time... Growing up we would often sit in the Sanctuary before the service and it would be silent.  I sort of liked that.  Though now I think many would find it eerie.  We often manufacture sound to fill in the quiet gaps that we cannot accept.

I love the early hours of the morning simply because of the quiet... the street out side my office is still rather quiet, no one is calling, the building only occasionally creaks, and I have turned off all the sound devices in my office... It does not seem lonely but rich, not empty but full...

I like silence in particular for thinking, for reading, and for praying... before the Divine Service (twice this Sunday) and a Bible class and a thousand questions and comments and organ and voice... just a little silence to think and pray... surely we would do well to recapture a love of and time for silence in our lives...   


Sue said...

I miss the silence in the sanctuary prior to the service. Nearly 30 years ago there was a remodel and the wall between the sanctuary and the narthex was removed. Everyone stands back there and yaks before church, and now even the people in the sanctuary yak away. I miss the time for silent contemplation and prayer.

Rev. Allen Yount said...

"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

"The LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Habakkuk 2:20).

"Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling" (Zechariah 2:13.

"But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me" (Psalm 131:2).

"It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD" (Lamentations 3:26).

We would indeed do well to listen to what Holy Scripture says about keeping silence.

Rev. Allen Yount
-+-Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio Faciunt Theologum