Summary: A sermon intended to Biblically support and encourage the much neglected discipline of Silence and Solitude.
Sermon Date 11-11-2012 Silence & Solitude (Chuck Gohn)
Good morning. Did everybody have a good week? Did anybody have a bad week? Be honest. Frankly, I didn’t have the best week. I really had kind of a lousy week. By the time I got to Thursday when I start working on my sermon, I decided I don’t think I am going to work on my sermon. I think I am just going to get out of here. Early in the morning I decided to just leave the house and get in my car and drive to my little getaway, which I probably shouldn’t tell you, but it is down at the River Walk or Three Rivers Heritage Trail down there by PNC Park and Heinz Field. It is really a great place. There is a great place to park down there and I just walk. I start walking on the trail and I found this little place that sits below the trail that is really close to the river, and there are three benches there. I just sat there and decided just to kind of talk to God and just hang out and watch the ducks go by and the occasional kayaker would go by. I sat there and watched the people working on the bridge up there. I heard the traffic go by. After about an hour or so, I got up and decided I was going to cross over the bridge. I think it was the Roberto Clemente Bridge that I crossed over. I went to the other side and went up to Market Square and sat there and listened to some musicians. There was a guy that sounded very much like Willie Nelson. I really enjoyed listening to him. He was very good. I sat there for a while and then I got up and went farther up the street to I think it is the Pittsburgh Glass Building and that is where they put the ice skating rink and the Santa Claus display. I hung around there for a little bit, walked back to Market Square, crossed the bridge, made a left, and went all the way down past Heinz Field and walked all the way down to the casino. Some of you are thinking, Chuck, did you walk into the casino? My answer is yes I did, but I didn’t walk in there to gamble. I walked in there because by that time I really had to go to the bathroom and that was the closest place. They hide the restrooms. I don’t know why. Probably to keep guys like me from walking in there. All the way in the back I found them and came back out and came back down the trail and spent some more time just sitting there hanging out with God. Before I knew it, I had spent six hours down there communing with God. By that time my wife is texting me saying where are you? I didn’t answer. I wanted to make sure I was missed. Finally, I just came home and they were ready to send out a posse to find me, but I made it home. I just had a really great time just spending time with the Lord. I know some of you are thinking, well, that is nice Chuck that you have that luxury to be able to do that in the middle of the week. I don’t have that luxury. I guess my excuse is that I was doing research for today’s sermon. Actually, I was. I was trying to experience the discipline of silence and solitude. Hopefully, some of the things that I have experienced I can share with you in the next few minutes.
If you have your Bibles and want to follow along, we will be looking primarily at the passage out of Mark. Mark 1:35. As a refresher for those of you who haven’t been here for a while or those of you who are visiting, we are focusing on what I call the four core values of the church, which are worship, discipleship, outreach, and community. We are taking a week and focusing on one of those values. This week we are back around to the value of discipleship, deep-rooted discipleship. To be a disciple, to become a model disciple, you have to practice what is known as the spiritual disciplines. Has anyone here heard of the spiritual disciplines? A few people have heard of the spiritual disciplines. When you mention the phrase spiritual disciplines, I think a lot of people initially maybe respond kind of negatively to it. They equate these spiritual disciplines as something that a monk or a priest might do. At a minimum, they think of something that is difficult to do. Like trying to discipline yourself to go out and exercise or something like that. Really the spiritual disciplines, whether you want to call it a discipline or not it is connected to the word discipleship. Discipline and discipleship are from the same root. Whether you want to call it a discipline or a practice or a habit, these are things that you must do if you truly want to grow up in spiritual maturity. In fact, they are a necessity. You have things in the spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible study, service, and even fasting.