Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Notice how many people talk, and talk. They go to church, they speak, they fellowship, they even have songs, hymns, and prayers—all aloud. Afterwards, they have met with the Lord God, they will say.
In James I have found the words "slow to speak," to encourage me along with Habakkuk 2:20 ". . . let the whole earth keep silence before me," when thinking of Silence in Worship. This has been of great motivation to me to practicing Silent Worship at home.
How can people, anyone, hear from Heaven and from the Lord of Light and Truth, if they are always speaking? If I am constantly speaking to someone, the other person is going to be constantly listening. That is the way I see Silence in Meditations, Devotions, or Worship. If I am praying aloud, reading always aloud, or always speaking aloud; I will not be able to hear what the Lord Jesus Christ (HERR Jesu Christie) has to say to me, to my family, to my soul, to my mind. I will have distracted my own self from deep Communion with God.
In putting this into practice the last while, all talking during our Home Meetings (when we don't go to the Mennonite services) and our daily Family Worship—the Lord is able to speak, and we are better able to hear His Leading Voice. I admit to ye all, I have a long way to go. I am not perfect. I am an unworthy creature looking to an all Worthy Saviour. I write, not as though I have apprehended these things entirely, but this one thing I have ascertained unto: forgetting those things behind me and reaching forth to those things before me.
I can say this as well, where there is an abundance of talking there is no want to iniquity. Arguments. Debates. Strife. Wrath and anger, and a multitude of other things. There is a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking. I am learning to not be all talk. I am learning to control my mouth, by the aid of the Lord God our Heavenly Father. I am learning when to speak and what to say.
Speaking. Talking. Commotion. Clamour. Loud tones. Shouting. Whooping and hollering. . . I am growing tired of talking too much in Home or Family Worship. So, I have been convinced of this: to practice Silence and have Heart, Hands, Mouth, and Soul laid to the Lord—whom speaks in the still small voice of calm. . . And there is Healing and Solace in that Active Silence. (Maybe I have over written? Maybe I have put this in the wrong place? Maybe I'm not qualified to speak? But aside from that, these are some of my own musings.)
Blessings to ye all, Friends.
To watch the sun setting; to watch nature all around you; to know that the Lord God and Father seeth thee and mankind hath no excuse. . . It is sobering. It is a very quiet moment. The last golden rays of the sun's light filtering through the distant trees in the west near the horizon. In days long gone, a meetinghouse bell would be tolled, called "curfew" — which is a bell rung in the evening signaling the work day is over and to make thy way homeward. I agree with Thomas Gray: "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. . ." in his "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard;" because the ending of the day with those bells, now obsolete, it would have seemed like unto knells (bell struck slow and somber at funerals: several quick strikes to get folks attention, then after a pause, one strike for a man or two strikes for a woman. Then after a pause the bells are tolled very slowly, each toll for each year of the deceases lifespan).
So, in my mind, I heard the curfew bells rung, signifying that the work day is over and it is time to go inside. I could see the last rays of the sunset. I could see the connection of the funeral knells, tolling the death of a person like unto those of the curfew bells, like as though it were the Death of the day. Silence otherwise. Quietness prevailed. Save the beetles wheeling their droning undulating flight, or the hammering of a few Downy Woodpeckers. Vultures were in their favourite roosting places. All of the trees were darkened to black outlines against the waning sun's sunset and twilight rays. All was calm and still. Save the thoughts that arose within me. I drank it all in. That was a beautiful Family Meeting and Private Retirement! Just a few more thoughts that came to me within that near one hour of natural surroundings and Meeting with the God of Light and His Son our Saviour!