Friday, May 11, 2007

Quiet, Please!

A longing for peace

By Gordon Bailey
Chief Executive, Schools Outreach
Special to ASSIST News Service


Unusually I found myself free from any speaking engagement in London one Sunday morning, although I was expected to preach at a church that evening. I decided, therefore, to find a church where I could take communion. I felt the need for a time of quietness and contemplation.

The following verses were written later that afternoon.

I sat in the church (I'd gone to break bread)
the pastor began to assure us
that we could spend time with our minds fixed on God,
but somebody thought of a chorus.

I wanted to dwell on the mercy of God,
on how He does love and adore us;
I longed just to meditate then on His grace,
but somebody thought of a chorus.

I knew, if we centered our minds on the cross,
that this would uplift and restore us;
I longed for some peace to share time on such thoughts,
but somebody thought of a chorus!

The pastor spoke quietly, his tone was just right,
he started to rightly implore us
to concentrate hard on the Christ of the cross,
but somebody thought of a chorus!!

The church became quiet, my mind was at peace,
I looked at the table before us;
I prayed for a vision of Christ crucified,
but somebody thought of a chorus!!!

I'm not in the new anti-chorus brigade
but why the new-fangled pretence
communing is helped by those toe-tapping tunes
and those words which so seldom make sense?

I do wish to meditate quietly at times,
unaided by musical violence;
can some be addicted to pause-less refrains,
as if they are frightened of silence?

I'm not anti-chorus, I just fear extremes,
and tune-chanting could be an illness
that makes us less likely to know more of God,
for God says we'll know Him in stillness.

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