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1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

Nature is beautiful and magnificent, but it is rarely silent. Likewise, our world is the same. Silence does not come often, is not easy to achieve, but it is a pearl of great price.

In the Old Testament lesson appointed for yesterday, Elijah discovers the voice of God in the "sheer silence" of the aftermath of a torrential storm...wind, earthquake and fire. In her sermon yesterday, Dean Kate Moorehead suggested that the translation which referred to this silence as the still small voice wasn't quite accurate. In fact, I would suggest that a voice implies something audible, thus not silence. The translation above, which is the NRSV, is a bit more accurate...sheer silence works. But Kate went on to suggest the translation one of her seminary professors offered : Eloquent Silence. Ahhh yes. Such powerful silence is fluent and persuasive.

One of the vows we take weekly in our Discipleship Group is "to set aside time regularly for prayer, "praying to God who is in secret" (Matthew 6.6) working toward twenty minutes a day.

Perhaps the discipline of pursuing that eloquent silence will put the storms of life and creation aside long enough for us to hear God and God's still small voice...but that eloquent silence must come first!

When and where have you found that "eloquent silence?" And what did you hear?

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