Letter 2

Last week I had the most unusual experience: worshipping in silence. For a number of years, I have read about the practice of worshipping in silence, but I had never been able to do it. My mind gets restless and wanders. It wants noise. It wants to be making noise.
So there I sat in church last Sunday, sitting in my seat, just listening to the music, rocking back and forth Curiously, it was during our “contemporary” worship service, and I usually find myself more than usually restless. The silence was wonderful.
Did god speak to me? Not that I could say. Normally, in the churches I am familiar with, we use silence to listen to God. The idea that the silence was the end in and of itself seems foreign. It was a strangely conscious act. No sense of self consciousness, which seems to match Scripture. Frequently, the reaction of the average person to the Presence of God is to fall at his feet as a dead man, in utter silence.
I wonder whether the Protestant emphasis on the primacy of Christ, the Word of God, predisposes us to “busy” worship. Someone must be speaking, singing, shouting, etc. The Word is not proclaimed in silence. But is that “Be[ing] still, and know I am God?”
Of course, it might also have much to do with the fact that I had on two hours of sleep the night before….

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