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The Sounds of Sheer Silence

  • Posted on Dec 4, 2013

Mother Martha’s Advent Meditation Wednesday, December 4

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a sound of sheer silence.  I Kings 11-12

Elijah was running.  Running for his life.  He found himself in a cave.  And by finally stopping, he found God.  He heard God’s voice.  In the silence.

Thich Nhat Hanh said:  “I am not running anymore; I have run all my life; now I am determined to stop and really live it.”

The paradox of the spiritual life is that life is not about striving and willing accomplishments to happen.  Rather, it is about slowing down, creating space and then willingly offering ourselves to God.  Its about showing up and seeing what might happen, rather than orchestrating all our might to MAKE something happen.

In these next weeks of Advent meditations, you will hear from three Memorialites that have found that life has asked them to stop.  They will tell you what it is like to have to stop and what they might have learned about God and God’s people when they stop.

This past Sunday, some of you heard high school senior Anna Yung preach.  She spoke about all the many threads of her life as chapters—the chapter of her family, the chapter of her best friend, the chapter of St Luke’s, the chapter of her school community.  She wondered what the next chapter of college might look like.  Like most teenagers, Anna lives a very busy life:  with studies, volleyball, friends, college applications and more.  What she had to do to preach that sermon was to stop.  Stop and remember.  Stop and ponder.  Stop and listen for the movement of God’s Spirit in her life. 

As we enter the season of Advent together, how might we find a way to stop?  Memorial offers a few ways.   Come to Sunday service and listen for God’s voice in scripture, music and sacrament.  Come on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm for an hour and half of quiet, candlelight, music and story.  Come this Sunday afternoon at 3 pm to hear God’s Word and Song in the voices of our city schoolchildren and the Memorial choir. 

Whatever you do in the next weeks leading to Christmas, find moments to stop, sit a spell, wait for the smoke to clear and the bustle to cease…..stop and know that God has been there all along.

Advent Blessings, Martha+