For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
Silence and us, silence and noise, silence and technology and now we finish with silence and God.
One writer on Christian spirituality, Richard Foster says; silence sometimes involves the absence of speech; it always involves the act of listening. (Foster: 123). If you focus on the word ‘silent’ for a moment, if you rearrange the letters in the word ‘silent’, it contains the same letters as the word ‘listen’. That’s the point of experiencing silence as a spiritual practice or discipline. That’s how silence is connected to God. We can refrain from talking for any number of reasons, but when we are silent, we can enter the space in which we can listen to God and God speaks to us. When the clamouring voices or thoughts in our minds are stilled, we listen to the word of God, whose presence can nurture and restore our souls.
Benedict, the 6th century mystic and father of western monasticism, came up with seventy-three rules for living in community, rules that Benedictines still practise today. The very first words of the Rule of St Benedict are, listen by inclining the ear of your heart. There is great wisdom here, moving beyond our tongues and ears, to deeper down to our hearts. When our hearts are open to listening to God, Christ can grow in us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in “Life Together”; silence is nothing else but waiting for God’s Word and coming from God’s Word with a blessing. But everybody knows that this is something that needs to be practised and learned, in these days when talkativeness prevails. Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness. (Life Together: 60). Being still before God, practising silence, is a gift to use when we come to hear the Bible, but how often do we do this? How often are our times of reading the Bible or hearing the Bible being read to us accompanied by times of silence? Stillness, silence, is an appropriate way to come to God’s Word. For by inclining the ear of our heart to the word of the Lord, we will hear God speak to us.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
About this site
"Meditations & Musings" is my humble attempt to share what I have found useful in ministry in an Australian Lutheran School setting. It contains chapels, devotions and other resources I have written, used and adapted in my K-12 school context. If you would like to also share your ideas, resources or start a conversation about mission and ministry in your church- school location, feel free to contact me.
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