February 07, 2008

Sounds of Silence

Psalm 46

?Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations ...?
Psalm 46:10


We live in noisy times. Streets echo with the roar of traffic. Construction projects boom and bang in downtowns, neighborhoods, suburbs. We fill our ears and elevators with playlists from iPods, our homes and cars with surround sound. Sports events blast out marches, cheers, and taunts.

Many farm and factory workers in earlier generations lost much hearing from the din of clanking machinery. Young people damage their ears at rock concerts and with earphones as they shop. Even at worship services some sound-control people seem to lock the volume on ?freight train? level.

The damage caused by noise is not a new discovery. It reaches far deeper than our ears. Centuries ago English poet John Milton portrayed hell as a place of unending noise?of ?howling and roaring and screeching and yelling.? If we bathe ourselves in noise, we might never soak in the silence of God. We may never exalt or ?lift up? the name of God even above ourselves?to say nothing of exalting God among the nations.

Take a survey of your daily activities. How many are filled with sound? Are you letting noise drown out or make you forget things you should hear? Do you forget your family? Your job? God? How can you turn down the volume in your life and find some silence for God?

God of silence and sound, as you fill the earth, help us quiet down to hear your voice in silence, to soak in your words and enrich our lives with you. (Be silent for one minute.) Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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