Church of All Nations
Silence & Solitude
*expanded from ANIC resources
Reflections on Silence and Solitude:
Lent is a wonderful time to “renew our daily dependence on God.” Romans 12 says in the Message Translation: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. What would it look like to place our ordinary lives at the feet of Jesus? In the little things, and in the big things. This year, as we have just marked the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 with many regulations. Maybe this year more than ever, our life is a mix of ordinary and sorrow as we navigate the unknown, loss, and stick to our own houses. Lent is the perfect reminder to turn to Christ in the ordinary. It is not about spiritually flexing, or bragging about our fasting but a time to sink into the rhythms of silence and solitude as we sit with our Maker.
I find that the demand of work, life and others is very distracting. I can often wake up with many notifications on my phone that pull my attention away from presence, or silence and solitude. We live in the most highly connected era of our lives, but sometimes I believe this connectivity makes it difficult to disconnect so that we can truly be silent with our Lord. Turning aside the notifications and the distractions.
My aim is to spend 30 minutes in the morning reading through the daily office, and spending time in silence and solitude the same way Jesus did in the desert before he came back to preach the good news. This time, these 30 minutes, can be a time of prayer, waiting on Christ and contemplating who God is, self-examination and conversation with Christ.
Silence and solitude is the beginning of community. Bonhoeffer says in life together, “let he who cannot be alone beware of community; let she who is not in community beware of being alone.” To be truly healthy people we need to be comfortable sitting alone in silence and solitude and we also need to be in community. However, you cannot just have one – you need both.
In the waiting, and the silence would you experience Christ as the bread of life, satisfying your hunger and speaking truth over your life. May this lent be an invitation into a daily habit of time spent in silence and solitude with our Lord.
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Resources for Silence and Solitude during Lent:
Here are some resources if you want some other unique ways of spending time with Christ. There is no obligation to use any of these resources.
The Daily Office:
An Online Retreat:
Lent with Evelyn Underhill: