Third Sunday During Lent
|Exodus 20:1-17||The Ten Commandments||361: Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
467: Trust and Obey
|Psalm 19||The perfect law of the Lord||534: Be Still, My Soul
698: God of the Ages
|John 2:13-22||Merchants and money changers in the Temple||213: Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty
559: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
|1 Corinthians 1:18-25||The wisdom of the cross||438: Forth in Thy Name, O Lord
539: O Spirit of the Living God
Deafening silence. Although the the phrase is frequently used, the words are usually viewed as contradictory. Loud sounds cause deafness, right? And silence is not loud, right? But it is in this very contrast, this very contradiction, that the phrase conveys a striking meaning, and a striking truth. Indeed, it forces us to search for meaning, and in that search, the truth becomes plain. Deafness is an inability to hear sounds. Silence is the absense of any sounds to hear. A deafening silence occurs when we cannot hear anything, much as we might want to. It occurs when there is no sound, much as we might want to cry out ourselves. And in this deafening silence, all of the things that should be heard become thought. All of the sounds that should be made are emblazened on our souls with an unforgetable fire.
Little is known about Katharina von Schlegel, the writer of this week's featured hymn. She was German, probably in a noble or wealthy family. She was a contemporary of Otterbein and Boehm; of Watts and Whitefield and the Wesleys. Yet, even as these noted leaders of the faith "made history," von Schlegel turned inward. She listened to the Spirit speaking to her soul. She heard a deafening silence, and she was moved to share it in verse. Pietist themes and a desire for personal, inward holiness are woven intricately into her words. As you read the words, let yourself be deaf to the noise of the world around you. Listen, and hear the deafening silence, too.
|1. Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
|2. Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future, as in ages past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.
|3. Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Yes, be still. Hear the deafening silence. Feel the comfort of the Spirit. May we all know the joy that our Lord and God holds for us, today and forever.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|