One of the most striking features of all this snow is how the world comes to a standstill and quiet. Living in a noisy world, that runs itself ragged 24 hours a day, it is easy to miss what voices speak loudest to us when we turn off the noise.
For me, Lent has always been an opportunity to turn myself and my voice off for a bit, to stop listening to my own voice, and to enter into a period of daily fasting, silence, and prayer in order to hear God’s voice in fresh ways. Often during Lent, I am more aware of my own flaws, my need for humility and repentance, and the voice that calls us forth to life and life to the full.
How might you find some of that space, even if for just a short moment each day? Maybe it’s turning off the radio for a bit, or working out without headphones, or saying a prayer over lunch. Whatever it is, that quiet in Lent is essential for our relationship with God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote: “…it is only completely in this world that one learns to have faith. One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman ( a so-called priestly type!), a righteous man or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world—watching with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith; that is metanoia; and that is how one becomes a man and a Christian.”
It is in the quiet that we learn to have faith, to make less of ourselves and much more of the God who comes to us in Jesus. To live in this world, we need to make space and quiet to hear God’s voice.
One of the ways you might try this practice is by coming to our midweek soup dinner and Holden Evening prayer. During our midweek worship this year during Lent, we are going to be hearing from a variety of difference wise and spiritually rich voices during our reflection time, from Dietrich Bonheoffer to Henri Nouwen. We have selected these voices in the hope that they might stir up something in our hearts and minds during worship. Will you join us? Thursdays at 630p for dinner, with worship to follow.