Monday, December 3, 2012

Sound of Silence

"...And no one dared disturb the sound of silence..." Simon & Garfunkel

(The first time I heard this particular S & G was on a road trip with Mr. Hippie after we were married. We had at least one child, were borrowing a friend's car, and we were heading to Chi-town. This friend had just visited China and had a cd with pop songs sung by Chinese people. It was pretty good, except for some distinct Chinese lisps. Like the "sound of siwence." No joke.)

I am almost done with my annual read through the Bible plan, and yesterday I was reading Revelation 8. Verse one says, "and when he had opened the 7th seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour."

Silence is the relative or total lack of audible sound.

This is a profound thought. (at least I think it is) Silence in heaven for half an hour. No "four living creatures chanting 'holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty' ceaselessly." No whispering. No talking. No moving. Nothing.  No one dared disturb the sound of silence...

What would cause all heaven to be silent? And for an entire half an hour? How about horrific judgement on this sinful world. This same world that despite these horrific judgements will still refuse to repent. (Revelation 9:21) Wow!

Maybe this is the original "moment of silence". Though technically it hasn't happened yet. Even though it was written 2000 years ago.

nature isn't 100% silent, but it doesn't require noise like we seem too.

Our lives are so far from being silent. We might not even know how to be truly silent. 

There is too much to distract. To make noise. Cars, phones, convenience. A constant buzz.

Silence is rare in this extremely loud season of carols, bell ringers, hustle and bustle and parties. Silence to contemplate this wondrous gift. 

the silencing effect of a heavy snow
Ironically, one of the most well known Christmas carols is Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright.

This theme of silence carries over into other Christmas carols. "O little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie... How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven."

What Child is This? mentions the silent Word given. That somewhat seems an oxymoron.

It is almost like this blessed gift, this Word, is sneaking in. Unobserved. Unnoticed. Almost unheralded.

There were no tweets. No FB status updates. No instagram photos marking the moment. No blog posts. No texts.

I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt to take a leaf from these favorite Christmas carols, and make myself a moment of silence. No phone. No computer. No washer or dryer running. No cars rumbling. No music. No talking. Just silence.

Maybe the silence of heaven in Revelation 8 is not possible for your life. Let me tell you, having four kids in my life makes silence a rare commodity.

But, what would it look like to get as close to that silence as possible? For me I'd have to get up early-early. And sneak around. And just listen. Do what I can to be silent. No technology. 

Just silence.

Zechariah 2:13-Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation.

There are times when we should be silent. Not put forth our two cents. There are times when what is happening is too big, too great for us to comprehend fully. Christmas is a big deal. It marks the beginning of the fulfillment of God's plan of redemption. The Redeemer being born so He could die. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came out of His holy habitation to this sinful earth. 

Christmas would be an appropriate time to find time to be silent. And to let God speak.

Will you join me in a moment of silence this Christmas season to commemorate the birth of the King of Kings?