Summary: Communion Meditation for September 2, 2007
(Slide 1) Around 40 years ago Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel recorded a song entitled ‘The Sound of Silence.’ It contained a couple of memorable lines that some people have used over these four decades to describe themselves: ‘I am a rock, I am an island/And a rock feels no pain/and an island never dies.’
But that is not what Christ, through the Bible, says about humanity! It says in Romans 14:7 ‘None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.’ A newer translation of this verse says, ‘For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die.’
Though we may wish at times that we were an island or a rock, we are not created to be alone and away from others and especially the Lord.
And today, we are very clearly reminded that we are not an island or rocks but people created in the image of God, to live a life given to us by God, and to be born again into the new life from God that we remember this morning with communion.
But there is value in silence! There is a purpose in silence! There are moments that we need to be silent before God and wait on Him.
Jesus demonstrates this in our text for this morning. His betrayal and arrest are close at hand. He seeks silence to pray and wrestle with what is going on in Him and around Him. He seeks the comfort, and the will, of the Father.
What would you do in Jesus’ shoes? I don’t know about you but I would fret and worry and be very, very afraid. I would probably be mapping out my escape or already on the run.
Silence would be the last thing that I would want to hear. I would want to hear the sound of my feet running, feel my chest pounding, hear my breath rushing, and be surrounded by the voices of friends who are helping me get away.
From the gospel texts of this passage we know that Jesus was sweating and anxious and impatient with the disciples. ‘Can’t you wait one hour? Can’t you stay awake with me? Can’t you pray for me?’ Don’t you know what is about to happen? Don’t you care?
I believe that we see Jesus at His most human during his time in the Garden. We see and hear and feel his agony, fear, and anxiety. We hear the sound of silence in the garden.
In the past weeks a veil of secrecy regarding Mother Theresa has been lifted and we have been made privy to her doubts and fears. Discussion has started as to how she will know be perceived. Some believe that those who find difficulty with Christianity will say, ‘See, it is not real, she is not real, she had doubts, how can she be a believer?’ Others are saying this will prove her to be an authentic believer who wrestled with doubts and periods of silence just like all believers do. But the silence made Mother Theresa uncomfortable from time to time because it forced her to stop and really consider if God was real and true and if He really cared about her.
Some of us here like silence. We cannot stand noise. Some of us here hate silence, we love noise! There is a place for both in our lives. There is a time and a purpose for the noise of action and decision. Life requires us to make choices that create ‘noise.’ But there is also a time when we need silence to think, to pray, to feel (which scares us sometimes because we are not sure of our feelings or we are overwhelmed by them), and to listen to and for God.
(Slide 2) There have been a couple of questions that I have been asking myself from time to time this year that I link to the issue of silence: ‘Am I listening ‘for’ God or am I listening ‘to’ God?’ ‘What do I need to say ‘no’ to in life in order to say ‘yes’ to God?’
It is hard to sit down and be silent before God and ask these questions because there is so much work on my desk that requires action and so many things scheduled in my calendar that requires my presence (or so I think) both of which cries out for my attention, but it is helpful and it is necessary for their to be silence in my life so that I can hear God.
Before we again give thanks to God for what He done for us we are going to view a video clip that really caught my attention about the need for silence before God when I viewed a couple of weeks ago. It is entitled ‘Noise’ and it features some very insightful and experiential thoughts and scenes that require us to examine the noise in our lives and to remind us of the place of silence.