Musical Term for Today:
Caesura- A sudden silencing of the sound; a pause or break, indicated by the following symbol: //
What did we do before we had smart phones -cell phones – car phones – pay phones – home phones – telephones –telegraphs – mail carriers - postal systems – messengers – horse and buggies –etc.? I will be quite honest with you. While I like to be aware of the evolution of the way humans have communicated with each other historically, I would not like to go back to the days of old. And as popular as the individual smart phones are these days, when Alexander Graham Bell transmitted speech electronically on March 10, 1876, his contemporaries did not grasp the extraordinary possibilities that his invention did hold. He had to travel the country demonstrating not just how it worked, but how his invention would change their lives. He had to sell this new product. And now just over 100 years later, even if you do not have a smart phone, I do not know anyone who does not have a telephone – except perhaps rare religious communities or people in countries who just cannot afford this communication luxury. Bell’s invention changed everything about how we communicate, what we communicate, how long it takes for us to communicate. His invention laid the foundation for so many other electronic gadgets that we take for granted today!
Now, what would we do if there was a sudden silencing of all of the ways we have learned to communicate? What would we do if in the next moment there was a Caesura on the music score of our life? How would you react if all of a sudden there was a pause or a break in the ways in which you communicated with your family or your friends or your co-workers or with God? Yes, let me just go there. What if there was a sudden silencing of divine communication with the earth? What would we do if our prayers could not get through? How would we feel if there was a pause from heaven? For those of us who realize that we live, we move, we breathe because of the power of God, we would likely be devastated and hate even now to imagine such a possibility! However, do you realize that there are people in this world and perhaps closer than that to you, who would not think twice about these questions? Did you know that there are people who could care less about the sudden silencing of the voice of God?
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.
In the midst of a cacophony of accusations, the thunderous ranting of false witnesses, the escalating tempers of indicting church and political leaders, JESUS, God with us, REMAINED SILENT. I almost need to take a minute myself and just think about how devastating that must have been for the One who only came to love. I can recall a certain situation on the playground at Folsom Elementary School in Folsom, LA where silence was not my first option. I remember this big girl getting in my face and pointing her finger and rolling her neck and cussing me out and inside I was screaming right back at her but in reality nothing was coming out of my mouth! I could not stand her for getting in my face like she did but then I was upset with myself because I did not speak up. I was scared of her and I was scared of what my mama and daddy would do to me if I said some of the words she said or threw a punch right in the middle of her face, which I felt like she so well deserved. On that playground, I remained silent. I remained silent because I was scared and with all of the emotions building up inside of me, I knew that a sudden break in my silence probably would have not been the best thing. I remained silent.
Jesus remained silent. But Jesus was not scared, like me. I can only imagine that in that moment he was overwhelmed with pity for these people whom he had co-created with God and that He so loved. Jesus radical and chilling silence in such a horrific moment blows my mind! I am many years from the playground incident and I have grown in my faith enough to know that the Lord will fight all of my battles, but I still cannot imagine remaining silent in such a dramatic sequence of events. Lord, say something!
Isn’t that what we, as people of faith, all want? We want the Lord to speak up for himself and for us. We want to hear a word from the Lord. We want heaven to just speak life and blessings and prosperity and joy! We do not pray for the Lord to remain silent. That is not what we want. But for some reason, this Gospel writer shares with us a moment where OUR Lord took advantage of His right to remain silent. And to be honest with you, I do not completely understand why. All I know is that in the midst of this intense situation Jesus inserted a Holy Caesura. Yes, He does speak in the very next verse but let us not overlook this sudden break in communication where Jesus stands there – accused, innocent, pre-determined death sentence, and silent. Lord, say something!
BlogFam, when the Lord God chooses to remain silent in our lives, most of the time, it is because we have paid no attention to what He has already said. Think about it. What more could have the Master said in that moment to convince them that He was their Messiah? What more could have been said considering that He had already said and done many things for them to KNOW that He truly was the Son of God? In wisdom beyond our comprehension, Jesus remained silent. He did not say a mumbling word. And that Holy Caesura is a lesson for us today.
Friends, are there any situations in your life where you need to make a sudden silencing of all of the sounds of hatred, complaining, worrying, insulting, gossiping, backbiting coming from your mouth? Do you need to take a sudden and unexpected, but necessary break from cussing and fussing and murdering folks with your tongue? Jesus remained silent. We may not want to think about Jesus’ silence being directed toward us, but perhaps that was one great example that He gave to us. His silence. When we feel like God is being silent in our lives, instead of acting like the Sanhedrin, the chief priests, and the false accusers in the Gospel of Matthew, perhaps we should redirect our focus to what the Lord has already spoken into our lives, prayers that have already been answered, and promises that have yet to be fulfilled. These things give us hope and strength and grant us the wisdom to embrace the times when the original Composer wants to create a Holy Caesura in our life’s music score. So, pause. Remain silent. And trust that our God really does have the final word.
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