Monday, July 5, 2010

The other part

I remember one of the first lessons I heard about music- "rests are just as important as the notes. "

A few weeks ago I took part in leading a Taize worship time. I've participated in Taize services before but never had the opportunity to lead one. For those who haven't experienced Taize, it makes use of scripture, repetitive songs, and silence for a worship time that is intended to be reflective.

During the service, we read scriptures, prayers, and sang songs that repeated the same verse numerous times. However, taking the time to be silent proved to be very difficult for the leaders. When you're leading worship, a few seconds of silence can seem like an hour... and silence can be even more uncomfortable for those not in leadership as they anticipate the next thing to happen. Taize's tradition confronts this constant need for occupying participants through activity. The times of "dead air" are intentionally put into the service to allow time for communion with God through prayer.

Silence is worth seeking and not as scary as you might think. Silence allows things to resonate. Silence allows that which is unscripted and unplanned to become our focus.

"One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel." 1Samuel 3:2-4a

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