Week of: October 27, 2019
Scripture: Psalm 65
God of Zion, to you even silence is praise. Promises made to you are kept —you listen to prayer — and all living things come to you.
(Psalm 65:1-2, CEB)
The choir practices its rousing Sunday anthem with the orchestra. The liturgical dancers stomp and leap for joy. Tools bang and clatter as a new piece of worship art is installed. Lectors rehearse their readings aloud, and pastors rehearse their sermons for next week. The praise band rocks the sanctuary rafters. Children laugh and shriek with delight in the hallways of the church. The workroom copier hums along to the telephone's ringing, and traffic in and out of office doors creates a noisy ruckus. We talk, shout, pray, argue, sing, cry, and laugh.
Then the time comes when rehearsals are complete. Paint brushes are set aside. Vacuums return to closets and office machines are silenced. All is assembled and we are ready. A holy hush falls over our industry and our conversation. It is not an awkward silence, but the silence of anticipation. We await the arrival of the guest for whom we have been preparing so earnestly and with such profound love. God — our salvation, our security and our strength — has been invited to be the object of our worship and we wait in breathless expectation of God's sure presence. Dumbstruck with wonder and awe, we reverently offer one last gift — our silence — which falls on God's ear as deafening praise.
We come to you knowing that you listen even when our prayers are too deep for words. Receive our silence as praise and bring us close to you. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, because we wait for you. Amen.
Beth R. Holzemer
Director of Traditional Music and Worship
First United Methodist Church
Photo: The chancel area of Church of the Resurrection Downtown in Kansas City is prepared prior to worship during The Fellowship's 2019 Convocation, "A Place at the Table." Worship visuals were designed by Todd Pick. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)