The Silence of Sunday

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           August 7, 2016

                                    

When I was pastoring one of the favorite times of the week would come on Sunday morning for about an hour and a half before anyone else arrived at church. I’d be the only one in the building and the quiet of those moments would prepare me for the next few hours of preaching, teaching, and pastoring.

The quiet was nourishment for my soul.

The phrase in Psalm 23 that always seems to speak to me greatly is where the Psalmist says “He leads me beside quiet waters; he restores my soul.” Quiet waters…soothing rain…peaceful thunder storms…silent snow. For me it seems that I associate many of life’s most peaceful moments in the “quiet waters” of life.

This morning my physical body is still “feeling the noise” of spending yesterday with our three grandkids. Quiet moments kept their distance from us. Our grandkids seem to feel comfortable enough with us to use their loud voices…all the time! The two older grandkids frolicked in the turbulent waters of our hot tub. The youngest granddaughter, who is sixteen months old, delighted me with her actions and words, and yet her endless energy left me exhausted. This morning quiet waters sound very appealing. Therapeutic waters for an aching lower back sound pretty good, also!

It seems that we live in a world that doesn’t appreciate silence, a culture that doesn’t see value in quiet. We’re addicted to noise. We’ve fallen to the deception that noise means life.     Sometimes noise is used to block out noise. I’m writing this while sitting in Starbucks with ear buds firmly inserted listening to music, in order to block out the noise of Starbucks. Weird, huh?

Quiet is disturbing to many of us. Strange that “disturbing the peace” usually is the result of excessive noise. The silence of a moment is the probe into my soul.

If you look in scripture you’ll find that silence is usually a part of someone’s encounter with the holiness of God, or the judgment of God. It’s like the boot camp buck private standing before the drill sergeant. No words are needed; in fact, no words better even be said! It is the realization for the private of who he is.

The silent moments of scripture are deafening experiences.

Quiet waters and deafening silence.

“Lord, lead me today beside quiet waters. When my life is speaking too much and listening too little, silence my spirit to get my attention back on what you are saying! Amen.”

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