Silent Wednesday

Wednesday of Holy Week is known as “Silent Wednesday.” The Gospel writers do not record any words or activities of Jesus on this day.

Tonight, at the Church at West Franklin, we will have a Silent Prayer Service, meditating and contemplating the 7 sayings of Jesus from the cross.

In the meantime, consider the importance of silence for the good of your own soul.

Alan Noble, in his Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age, offers this counsel:

“With quiet reflection, our desires, fears, beliefs, doubts, and sins are given space to surface, but none of these define us. They may describe a part of our person at a particular moment in time, but only a part, and only for a time. . .When we look inside and find abiding sin, the guilt of that sin takes us to the cross, where the One who took that guilt upon himself forgives us. When we look inside and find gratitude for a life we have been taking for granted (because diversions also rob us of our joy, as well as our misery), that gratitude draws us upward to God in thanksgiving. And when we look inside and reveal suppressed anxiety or dread, we can explore the source of that dread, knowing that the God who provides the peace that passes understanding loves us. In contemplation, we know ourselves in relation to God, and as we grow in the knowledge of God, his truth interprets us, granting us deeper knowledge of ourselves.”

What can you intentionally do today to preserve the honor of Silent Wednesday by being quiet before the Lord?

Again, Noble offers a couple of helpful suggestions:

“A practical, achievable step we can take toward reclaiming our attention and creating some space for reflection is to cut down on filler distractions. Make dinner without listening to a podcast. Use the bathroom without bringing your phone. Walk upstairs without checking Twitter . . .

Stop seeing “unproductive” time as a problem to be solved and instead open yourself up to the possibility of undirected thought. (bold, mine)

A habit like this can allow you to see God’s creation anew, to process experiences, to reflect on sins, to be grateful. Most important, such a habit is an embodied claim that ‘redeeming the time’ for the days are evil means redeeming it for God, for his glory, not for profitability, productivity, efficiency, or plain busyness. How on earth can we redeem each moment for him if we are so absorbed by the next thing that we forget he exists at all?

Another practical way to adopt a habit of reflection is to make prayer and meditation on the Word a daily activity. The disciplines of praying and reading the Bible center our attention outside of ourselves and on a conception of existence that transcends a material world. . .We can easily turn these Christian disciplines into just another activity, if our time of prayer and meditation on the Word takes the posture of defense and closure to God’s voice, conviction, and the Holy Spirit. None of us consciously do this, of course, but we do unconsciously approach the Holy Word of God and the throne of God without the fear and trembling and thankfulness that befit a people who believe that this book is divine revelation, and that our prayers rise up to a living God who loves us.”

Again, what can you intentionally do today to preserve the honor of Silent Wednesday by being quiet before the Lord?

Don’t waste the silence today. “Be still and know. . .”