Sabbath sound and silence

Our busy world  is full of noise.  It is about inescapable it seems.  And what is worse, most get the jitters without their incessant tunes and tweets.  Silence is a disturbance, no longer a retreat.

On  a recent Sunday morning, my wife and I sat on our deck enjoying the cool breeze.  All was calm and serene, fitting for a day of meditation and devotion.  Then an unknown neighbor to the back fires up his circular saw.   The little bubble of sacred silence burst.

And yet, there is a sound that, quite frankly, I wish I heard more in those often quiet moments.  Every once in a rare while, the silence of a (sadly) sleepy Sunday morning is broken by the chiming of church bells.  Strange!  And yet, the sound brings pleasure.  It is a reminder of a day when Americans were more contemplative, more content, and of course, much more devout. Those bells used to chime, calling worshipers to the house of  God.  But such pleasure is mixed.  Those sounds may be quaint, perhaps, to those with a taste for nostalgia but little taste for organized religion.  Yet  they don’t belong today as they were once regarded, as a symbol of religious authority.  Aesthetic pleasing, but hardly a summons.

But God continues to call, to speak amid the bustle.  And those who have ears to hear will turn down the volume and listen.  And come.

Author: westportexperiment

I am a minister serving Presbyterian Reformed Church of Rhode Island, with strong interest in the history, theory, and contemporary application of parochial church extension.

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