Like children shouting…

When the House of Commons was first broadcast many people were surprised by what they heard. I remember a relative indignantly saying ‘It’s just like a bear garden.’

We’ve got used to hearing and seeing politicians ‘shouting’ at one another and many feel the politicians seldom seem to listen to another side of the argument. Of course, this is an exaggeration, and many parliamentary debates are carried out in measured and careful ways.

L S Lowry Children’s Playground

In the Gospel (Matthew 11.16) Jesus says:

What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other

Our Lord’s words seem to be addressed to today’s generation! It isn’t just politicians that seem to fill life with loud words forcefully spoken. We turn on the radio to listen to the news and hear of arguments, conflicts, fighting, destructive thoughts and words.

We find we as adults so often behave as children in the playground do. Sometimes the ‘noise’ is in our own homes, or in conflicts within our own selves. Surrounded by so much ‘noise’ we understandably need to step apart at times, and find peace and quiet, and that is not always easy. It may need self discipline and time to settle.

Being still, sitting quietly, waiting peacefully, are qualities to encourage in our day to day lives and in our spiritual lives. We are fortunate at St Chrysostom’s that at certain times the church is open for us to come in and be still and to light a candle. In our lives we can find times in the week or in the day when we deliberately pause and be still.

In the stillness and silence we can wait and we can listen. Listen not to the shouting that so often seems to go on around us, but rather to listen in hope and peace, and hear the still small voice of calm.

Fr Ian


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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