I love that comment in Revelation about there being silence in heaven for half an hour... all the alleluias cease, no flying winged creatures, no angels passing on messages - just - silence.
This morning I introduced our Lent series of services built around encounters between Jesus and A N Other in the gospel of John. Essentially I've extended the lectionary gospel narratives a bit and omitted the OT and Epistle. The plan is that I lead a 10 minute reflection on the passage, we sing a song or chant, have ten minutes of silence (with some optional resources to help anyone who finds them helpful) and then the song or chant again.
I was a little bit nervous about introducing it, and was overwhelmed by how well it was received... a few people who rarely express opinions sought me out to say thank you.
It's all much 'bigger' than that, though, and every week the way God's Spirit works in, through and despite us strikes me afresh.
The all agey bit was a story 'I Love You because You're You' a delightful account of a mother fox who loves her child when they are good, bad, happy, sad, shy, bold, angry, stubborn etc. I ended up saying that God loves everyone just like that. "Even the guys who don't know?" asked a three year old - yes, even the guys who don't know. Wow!
The intercessions were utterly stunning in their depth and courage - prayer for baddies as well as goodies, for those who know and name Christ and those who don't... the perfect match for the child's observation. Wow!
Setting up this morning was fraught - the church projector kept misbehaving and shutting down. I cadged a lift home to pick up mine, which then failed to work because the bulb had gone phut. Thankfully we got the church projector to work (who knows what was up with it - the old unplug, replug trick!) and all went well (aside from me having the wrong version of the chorus of one of the hymns).
Silence in church for ten minutes - today and each Sunday of Lent: I think that will make the vibrancy and noise of Palm Sunday all the more intense, and I hope it will prove overall a positive experience for those who participate.