Pastor ChrisRev. Christopher Chandler

In a noise-polluted world, it is even difficult to hear ourselves think let alone try to be still and know God.  Yet it seems essential for our spiritual life to seek some silence, no matter how busy we may be.  Silence is not to be shunned as empty space, but to be befriended as fertile ground for intimacy with God.” Susan Muto.

Find a silent, solitary place to read today’s meditation.  Go into silence for five minutes (you may need to set your alarm, so you’re not drawn away to check your watch) and as distractions emerge attempting to hijack this time, let them go, imagining them to be leaves you can drop into a stream to float away.  Let the gentle stream carry the diversions away; be careful not to follow them down stream.. Gently return to God, repeating, “Here I am.” Let the stream of God’s Spirit carry and guide you along. 

With a slow unhurried pace read the following passage from the prophet Isaiah:

 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—  light! sunbursts of light!  You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy.  Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants— all their whips and cudgels and curses—Is gone, done away with, a deliverance  as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. The boots of all those invading troops, along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood, will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days!  For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne    over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing  and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this. Is 9:2-7 [The Message]

As you read the text a second time, I want you to say to yourself, “Lord, I want these names to take root in my life. I want the Amazing Counselor to be my counselor. I want the Strong God to make His mighty power available in my life, for my needs, for my situation. I want to be a child in relationship with the Eternal Father who is competent, compassionate ,and committed, so the rug will never be pulled out from underneath me, and so I won’t need to fear ever being abandoned in this life or the next. And I want Your peace to rule and reign in my life this season and every one to come, so much so that I may be Your light in this world.  

For further reflection on Silencing:

 If silence is new for you, begin with ten minutes.  Setting a timer can help a novice who keeps watching the clock.  The timer lets you forget the time and settle into the quiet.  Intentionally place yourself in the presence of God and become quiet.  As you become quiet what do you hear: voices, traffic, your breathing, wind, your heart, distracting thoughts.  Let the noise go.  Continue to let the quiet deepen. Be with God. After ten minutes, reflect on what it was like for you to simply become still enough to hear the background.  Try this several times a day. What happens to you?  The benefits of being silent are often seen in the fruit it bears, rather than in the experience of silence per se.  [Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele A. Calhoun]