Tradition and change, old and new, debates, opinions, discussions, experiments, can make one feel a bit sea-sick. If you pay attention to social media you will hear lots of voices telling you what's wrong with church and why people don't like going. To a lesser extent you will hear some discussion of what kind of message, or what form the message might take, in relation to different groups – Muslims, secular atheists and so on. You might even hear a variety of ideas about the Bible and how to read it.

Church, gospel, Bible are of great interest to evangelicals. And the broad church that is modern evangelicalism has a whole range of views on these topics. And these are not even the controversial Shibboleth topics. So much talk could drive you to the monastery.

Or make you think you were in the monastery and wanted to get out.

What we may not hear much of in the monastery is talk about the criminally oppressed poor. Or talk about our indigenous brothers and sisters. But, I suppose that depends on which cell you are in.

Are there too many voices? Is the Christian world too noisy? Is it a post-Babel world where everyone talks and no one understands? Maybe. But the post-Babel world is a very old world. And although God spoke everything into being before Babel, he continued to speak to the world after Babel as well.

Can he be heard? Can I hear him? Sometimes we can identify with David who recognised that God had dug out his ears for him (Ps 40.6 ESV fn). Quite an interesting picture, don't you think?  Paul says it a bit more eloquently, “For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor 4.6).

Both of those can be turned into excellent prayers.  Amongst the noise, we want to keeping hearing the voice, and seeing the light, of God himself.