On Sunday I substituted in an older Sunday school class. We talked about worship, and a couple of members made comments about silence.
"I find God in the still, small voice."
"I was raised that the sanctuary is a place of quiet (or something close to that)."
Their comments lead me to believe that they feel that they can ONLY find God in the quiet.
I find God in the quiet. Being a "bear of very small brain," at least when it comes to prayer, I need the silence in order to pray. I need an absence of distraction. Music in the background during prayer bothers me if I'm talking to God. It's that lyrics problem. I hear the lyrics more readily than the music, so the song's words drown out my own. If I'm sitting quietly, without trying to form words to God, then the music is usually OK. Ironically, prior to teaching the class yesterday, I went in the sanctuary to pick up a few bulletins. Our choir director was practicing a song for the prelude (on the organ). It was beautiful, so I just sat in the quiet room and listened.
The organ is not a particularly quiet instrument.
I do find God in the quiet, but I also find God in the noise. The Hallelujah Chorus on Easter is not quiet, and yet it is full of God. When I drive along in my car, with the music turned up loudly and the windows down, God visits. When I turn off the music, and have no sound in the car, God visits.
Is it really a function of the noise around us that calls God to our worship? No (and we all know that.)
What God is waiting on is for us to actually worship -- to place him first. We hesitate to do that because we want ourselves to be first.
I agree that God can be found in the still, small voice, but to say that that is the only place he can be found is limiting him (or at least our discovery of him).
And, I'm sorry to say, but there really isn't anything holy about the Sanctuary. It is a beautiful place, but it is only a part of a building. And when that room becomes more important to us than God, or than following his will, then we are worshipping something other than God.