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Our Saviour Lutheran 56 Cleveland Dr. Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 

Embracing Silence

Last week, I had the opportunity to be on retreat with my fellow pastors in the Tappen Zee Conference. We chose to go to Holy Cross which is a monastery I was introduced to when I was a pastor in Kingston, NY. It is an Episcopal monastery which lives by the Rules of Benedict. The worship is much slower and is chanted in a monotone style with lots of pauses and silence.

In the evening, they observe what is called The Great Silence. This means from the hours of 8:30PM to 8:30AM there is no speaking from the monks and even from guests staying, like our group. The first time I experienced this, I will admit it was a little off putting. This last time it was extremely refreshing as I was used to this tradition. The only speaking during this time was morning worship at 7AM, but after that there was no more speaking even during breakfast.

This about this for a moment. Think about your coming and going each day, how many times do you hear sounds and talking? Right now I am typing this in my office and it is pretty quiet in here, but coming from underneath the office, the sound of children singing is floating through the floorboards. When you go to a restaurant there is almost always a song playing overhead. Even at home, how often do we fill the quiet with a little bit of noise. Absolute silence can throw one off.

Silence makes us turn inward a bit. It almost forces us to be still and reflect. I am a practicer of silence in my house once Patty leaves. I use that time to reflect on how God is working and time for listening. This is the goal of the practice of silence, we can certainly pray to God during this time, but it is meant for listening. Hearing how God is working in the world and within our lives. The psalmist even reminds us to take time to be with God when the psalmist writes “be still and know that I am God.” Embracing silence can be a beautiful time for devotion.
Pastor Justin Johnson
Our Saviour Croton on Hudson
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Our Saviour Lutheran Church · 56 Cleveland Dr · Croton on Hudson, NY 10520-2751 · USA

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