DayBreaks for 11/14/13 – The Sounds of Silence
From the DayBreaks archive dated 11/21/2003:
If you are like me, growing up in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, you lived through a period of musical giants. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Monkees. Oh, yes, and let us not forget Simon and Garfunkel. There were few who burned as brightly on the popular music scene as those two.
On 11/6/2003, I had the wonderful experience of going to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Old Friends” concert in Oakland, California. I felt like I was seeing and listening to old friends again – even though I’d never seen them in person before. Their words and music were as familiar as a conversation with an old friend…and as comfortable. As I sat and listened to them play and sing one monster song after another, I found myself being transported back to the feelings I had as a young man when I heard those songs for the first few times. I felt young again. I felt full of hope and excitement and enthusiasm about life – the way we probably all did when we were young and naïve. Strange how time changes us…
The words of some of the old songs struck me: “Hello, darkness my old friend, I’ve come to speak with you again…”, “…and the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they’d made, and the sign flashed out its warning, in the words that it was forming, and the vision that was planted in my brain, still remains, within the sounds of silence.” Silence can be a symptom of peace…or a sign of despair. I don’t think it was peace that Simon and Garfunkel were singing about when they wrote that song. This is a song about empty hollowness. Perhaps that is why it spoke so powerfully to the culture of that period in our history.
Equally powerful was “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. I hadn’t ever really thought about how so much of that song could be descriptive of the way Christ deals with us – the way he shadows us through our lives and helps us when we need it. “When you’re weary, feelin’ small, when tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all…”. And when friends can’t be found, the singer of the song promises us that he’ll be right there, like a bridge over troubled water to ease our passage. Scripture reminds us that God Himself will wipe every tear from our eye. What tremendous parallels to Christianity! Though all our friends may abandon us, Christ won’t. When we reach the troubled waters of life (and they come frequently), we need a bridge to carry us over, to bear us up and put us safely on the other side.
Jesus, my friend, is that bridge. He is the only one who can bridge the chasm that our sin has created and which separates us from God. Again, I don’t believe that Simon and Garfunkel had any intention of carrying the message of the gospel in some of the words to their songs, but isn’t it amazing how God works? How after these many years, He can give us new insights and helps us to understand where real hope and excitement come from?
It was a great concert, but not as great as the one we will someday participate in as singers ourselves. The only sounds of silence then will be of holy reverence and awe for our Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Psalm 46:1 (NIV) – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Isaiah 43:2 (MsgB) – “When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.”
Habakkuk 2:20 (MsgB) – “But oh! God is in his holy Temple! Quiet everyone—a holy silence. Listen!”
PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for being our oldest and best friend, for bridging the troubled world of sin to deliver us into heavenly glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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