Sometimes, I need silence to pray, and it’s hard to find silence.
The world is noisy, busy, filled to the brim with stuff.
Our corporate worship feels the same way.
This isn’t about style. I have my own preferences—toward reverence, beauty, and the so-called “smells and bells” of high worship found in some Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran parishes. I have my own pet peeves—praise bands, projection screens, folk masses, clown masses (yes, that’s a real thing). I believe that some music, words, and actions are more suitable to the celebration of the congregation than to the worship of God, and I don’t see eye to eye with many Christians—or a lot of my fellow Catholics for that matter—on this topic.
But that’s not what this post is about.
All corporate worship, from the most solemn to the most frivolous, has gotten too busy to achieve its principal goal—furthering a communion with God.
What’s missing is silence.
Whether it’s a little less music, or slightly shorter prayers, or a better edited sermon, our corporate worship needs silence. It needs space. We need to stop talking, stop singing, and stop preaching to—or sometimes at—God.
Stop so we can listen.
Like Elijah on the mountain, after the wind and the earthquake and the fire. After all the noise and the spectacle is when we hear God.
The “still small voice” we can only hear in silence.