Pastor's Pen 14th June 2020 - Silence

Silence and inactivity unsettle us. Not everyone, essential workers were busier, but some of us had a period of quiet in alert level 4 especially. For some this was difficult, for others it was a gift. I was still working, but often in solitude. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said; "God is the friend of silence. Trees, flowers, grass grow in silence. See the stars, moon and sun, how they move in silence."


Already, anecdotally, people are expressing to me the transformational thinking that occurred in isolation, about relationships, life mission, busyness. Picking things up and letting other things go. Silence leaves space for creative thinking. A household where one becomes busier and the other is laid off or put on hold requires a conversation. There could be an emotional imbalance at play that will need unpacking.


Silence can be a place of prayer. I believe my prayers in 'lock-down' had less words but more depth. Silence enables worship. Imagine the feeling of Revelation 8:1; 'When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.' A minute's silence before a big match seems a long time. I guess in the heavenly throne room, thirty minutes is not that long.

I doubt that the heavenly silence is empty. In silence one is aware of the fullness of God (or at least that is my educated speculation). So for the Christian, meditation is not an emptying, but rather a pause to recall the fullness of God, to enable spiritual communion in the Spirit. Peace and patience are fruits of the Spirit that enable us to wait upon God in expectation.

I was particularly mindful of this in the approach to Pentecost as restrictions on gatherings were easing, and the prospect of fellowship increasing.

Let us not abandon the gift of silence as we return to something resembling normality. There is still much upheaval in the world that requires the church to heed the words of John the Seer; 'Whoever has ears, hear what the Spirit says to the churches!'


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