Sweet sound of silence

 6 March 2021 |

This weekend sees the first year of Covid – we don’t need reminding, you might say. We have all struggled. The church, nearly everywhere, has also been struggling. I am aware that people have looked to the church to provide solace and care in these troubling times; if not the church then perhaps the ministers. I have felt this failure as I know only too well how vulnerable I am. Not just about the virus but about the loneliness and desperation, and inadequacy of my response. Today as we reflect on where we are, I want to talk about the humanness of the church.

All too often we portray ourselves as a people with all the answers. We want, sometimes with too much desperation, for people to come to our buildings and worship; and we give the impression that by coming to church, all your problems will be solved. We portray God as the great answer to all our prayers and Jesus as the One who always gives comfort and help. I have sat at so many bedsides listening to people as they question what’s their life been for.

It took me a while in ministry to realise I have no answers; just more questions! And the line in the Bible that says – “I am the way, and the truth and the life” often sounds rather hollow. For the key, I believe to Jesus, is to see how vulnerable he is and how he points to the vulnerability in God. Yes, many of the people who wrote the Bible portray God as all powerful – in the fire, the wind, and the earthquake, but do we miss that the Bible also says, that you can’t always find God in the crash, bang, wallop, moments of life; instead, God is often more clearly in the noise of silence. 

In that vulnerability is where we meet God, especially in these Covid times: in the vulnerability of life, in our humanity and in our love.