The Sound of Silence in a Moment of Worship
Silence is one of a number of "s" words that we are seeming to lose in conversations on worship and church service planning: seriousness, solemnity, soberness, and the sacred. This thought was provoked by this interesting perspective on the place of silence in a worship service, rather contrary to reigning opinion on the matter. I'm open to varying opinions on this! Do we try too hard to fill every second of a service with sound just as we now do with our personal lives--filling our ears with music, sound, and chatter on the radio, TV, iPods, cell phones, and mp3 players? What does our aversion to silence say about us and our ability to think and wait on God? There certainly is something to the power of silence in worship that adds to the weight of the moment. Like many things, it happens best on its own. I have been in numerous church services when God moves and the response is a heavy silence and waiting upon God. These have been some of the most powerful moments I've known. I can remember once as a teenager being in a powerful service when after the worship and preaching and responding in the altars the "weight" of God's Spirit was so heavy in the room and it was quiet and it felt peaceful, restful, and soothing sweet. It felt as if you could cut the air with a knife. I have never forgotten that moment. Such moments can unite a congregation in response, repentance, worship, or hearing the voice of God together.