And Now, if You Would, a Moment of Silence…
St. Mark’s Corner
I have mentioned before that my elementary school principal was Mr. Krieg. And how, during our Christmas pageants, he would sing a beautiful rendition of Silent Night interchanging verses in both English and German. It is one of my fondest memories in a mind that is quickly losing fond memories and instead is focused more on the cold, callous and heartless doses of reality.
Despite my propensity for Old-Man-Potterness this time of year; not for Christmas per se, but the peripheries of Christmas; hearing Silent Night can stop me in my tracks. As the lyrics suggest, when I hear the song indeed “all is calm.” My breathing slows down. My body slows down. And most importantly, my brain slows down. It allows me to be present in the moment. Open to outside influences. Not just hearing the same old, self-produced, monotonous chatter of bull I mistake for intellectual thought. Because it’s not. It’s just noise.
So, what is it about this song that throws an ever-increasing constant state of yelling of a man into a more docile version? I guess it’s all in the sound of silence. We have been told throughout our lives that silence is golden. That there is a code of silence. That silence means consent. That it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. And for those of you who don’t mind accessing their closeted (or openly) immaturity; silent…but deadly. Silence soothes. It is peaceful. Silence allows to hear the thing you wouldn’t normally hear. Crickets at night. Windchimes in the trees. A soft babbling brook. God’s voice.
And speaking of God’s voice, His Word also encourages silence:
Be silent in the LORD’s presence and wait patiently for him. Don’t be angry because of the one whose way prospers or the one who implements evil schemes,” (Psalm 37:7).
“Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign LORD, for the awesome day of the LORD’s judgment is near” (Zephaniah 1:7)
“Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling,” (Zechariah 2:13).
“And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles,” (Acts 15:12).
So as you approach Christmas this year, remember you are approaching the newly born Jesus Christ; away in his manger with no crib for a bed. And if you approach him with noise in your head and your heart and your spirit, and your cell phone going off, remember you should never wake a sleeping baby. So just cut the noise.