A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday: Into the Silence

Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer (Mark 14:60-61).

Our culture does not like silence. We do our best in the routine of the day to fill the quiet with noise. We slap headphones on our ears listening to our iPods, we turn the radio on in the car while driving, and we have the television on constantly. We can't even have silence in the elevator as the music is piped in to us.

Many Christians are even uncomfortable with silence in worship. Many people have told me over the years how difficult moments of silent reflection and meditation are for them. We equate silence with dead time, awkward moments when people are not quite sure what to do. There are time when silence is loud.

Jesus stands before his accusers on trial and he remains silent. Even his interrogators find his lack of response uncomfortable. But no one need worry about the silence lasting very long. We will fill the silence with shouts for his death: Crucify him! Crucify him! The silence of the Lamb of God must be replaced with the shouts of human beings raking matters into their own hands. In silence we wait on God and allow God to act; but in the noise we take matters into our own hands, we control what is to be heard and what is to be done.

In the noise we go about our business; in the silence God seeks to intrude into our business. In the noise we drown out the sounds of God calling; in the silence God speaks to us. In the noise we change the subject from God's expectations of us, to the ways in which we will live our own lives; in the silence God confronts us with the obligations we have as persons created in his image.

In the silence, Jesus dies upon the cross. In the silence, the word is proclaimed: How much this Jesus loves us!


Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan, Yes, silence is golden only because of what you say here. Something I've been learning much more of through the years. I almost always appreciate it anymore. And much of the time it is me who am keeping my mouth quiet or turning off the noise. That's when I often begin to sense God's voice and something of what he might want to be getting through to me. Thanks for this great reminder on Good Friday!

Allan R. Bevere said...


Christians must avoid the temptation to silence silence.

Anonymous said...


You have written about the importance of Silence in Religion, Faith and Spirituality. Silence, Solitude, Simplicity and Slowness are necessary for peace. In this context I want to post a part from my article which examines the impact of Speed, Overstimulation, Consumerism and Industrialization on our minds and environment. Please read.

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.

To read the complete article please follow any of these links :