Read Psalm 46.
Be still and know that I am God. (v. 10a)
Scripture is silent about what happens to Jesus and the disciples on this day. We can only guess. Maybe they were exhausted from the money-changing incident in the temple on Monday and the flurry of activity on Palm Sunday. Maybe they gathered together to talk about what was happening or what might happen in the days to come. Maybe Jesus found out about Judas’s betrayal and thought about how he might address it. We don’t know. It’s quiet. Perhaps Scripture’s silence on this day is one way of inviting us to be silent today as well.
Silence in our culture is becoming ever more rare. Some of the most profound “noise” we deal with today is the blare of electronics. It’s not so much the literal noise—although our electronics do have their share of buzzing and beeping—it’s the noise of attention stealing.
We need to check our email, look at that text message, ask Google that burning question about how long to cook the chicken. It’s a loud, persistent way to prevent us from having any semblance of stillness in our thoughts. Many of us realize this and we try, often unsuccessfully, to turn it off and keep silence for a period of time—a week, a day, an afternoon, an hour, even fifteen minutes. Even just fifteen minutes of undivided attention to someone or something that doesn’t involve any outside electronics chatter is difficult to accomplish.
The key is not to try to do it alone. Find a friend or a family member who is committed to keeping the noise of electronics and gadgets at a minimum. Ask him or her to commit to a time of quiet and see where it takes you.
God of silence, thank you for the gift of a clear mind and an unburdened heart. Give us communities that we can trust to help us quiet the noise ofdistraction today. Amen.
These Holy Week Posts were published in the Fellowship of Prayer 2015 published annually by Chalice Press. Check out some of Chalice’s recent (and amazing) offerings such as: Sandya Rani Jha’s Pre-Post Racial America,Brian Christopher Coulter’s Be Holy, and Stephen Ingram’s Organic Student Ministry. Of course, my book Seamless Faith: Simple Practices for Daily Family Life is also published by Chalice Press in 2014.