(In The Life Of The Church)
A few years ago I was learning a lot about the importance of silence. I was studying about it as a spiritual practice, and I had gone on a silent retreat with my covenant group, and I was preparing to go spend some time in the New Mexico desert at a monastery with some Benedictine Monks – and I just seemed to be surrounded by silence and I was really learning about how important it was. And I was really just beginning to understand how important and formative it could be for me as a practice in particular.
And so at the height of all of this I posted something on Facebook – normally a mistake – about how I was learning about the importance of silence. The post in total said something to the effect of, “I’m learning a lot about the importance of silence lately. And I’m pretty sure that would surprise anyone who knew me when I was in middle school.” Very funny. I gave myself a pat on the back for posting something funny, slightly self-deprecating, and slightly self-congratulatory and went on with my day.
But the next time I checked Facebook I realized I had made a critical error. Because multiple people that I had known throughout all different stages of my life had all commented on my post saying that anyone who had known me as a toddler or an elementary schooler, as a high schooler or a college student, as a choir member or youth group peer or classmate or coworker was also surprised that I was learning a lot about the importance of silence. Even my very own mother commented and said that she knew I would be chatty when I was an infant. So - there's that.
For much of my life – or for much of my adult life at the very least – I have desperately wanted to be the kind of person of whom it could be said, “Man, you know, Taylor doesn’t talk a lot – but when she talks you know that she’s going to say something meaningful.” I think that part of the reason I wanted to be that kind of person was because at some point in my life I received the message that good Christian women were supposed to be this way. But the reality is – I’m never going to be that person. I mean – I am working on embracing silence and its importance in my life, and I can definitely say that I am farther along in that journey than I was a few years ago. And I am certainly convicted by the many places in Scripture that stress that our words are important – that they can be like honey or they can fan a flame into a fiery blaze, that they can crush someone’s spirit or they can create peace between friends – and that an important part of Christian discipleship is learning to tame the tongue. But learning to speak thoughtfully and meaningfully, and allowing the formation of the Holy Spirit to help me tame my tongue is not the same as becoming a completely different kind of person.
I think, as I continue to grow, I will instead adopt the attitude of the psalmist. Psalm 19 is the Psalm of the week in the lectionary, and verse 14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” The psalmist is praying that their prayer will be pleasing to God – that both their inner self (meditations of my heart) and outward actions (words of my mouth) will be oriented towards God in such a way that it demonstrates their submission to God.
That is the type of person that I know that I am trying to become – that we are all trying to become. A person who is oriented towards God in such a way that it overflows into every part of our lives. This is the type of desire that allows us to become who we are more fully, instead of attempting to convince us to subdue what God has created us to be. May we move together towards who God has created us to be – and may we use kind, thoughtful words on the way there. As many – or as few – as we deem necessary.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about any of this, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parishoner of the Week
In consultation with the staff I, josh carney, was selected for fixing the ceiling in the Bloom Room.
Random Pic To Generate Clickbait Traffic
Remember, due to spring break there will be no Sunday School this week Sunday, March 4th. Sunday School will resume on Sunday March 11th.
Lost and Found
At the end of each month, starting at the end of March, the Lost and Found will be emptied and donated. If you have lost something at the church, or think you may have lost something, please check the office before it’s gone.
Work is Worship
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- Sermon Text: John 2:13-22 "we need an angry God"
- 3-12 Finance Team Meeting
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- April 13-14
- 4-15 Town Hall
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