400 years of silence. God had said nothing to His people for 400 years.
For years and years before this gap, God offered help, advice, punishment, promises, and so much more to His people. And then...one day...nothing.
I can’t imagine that amount of silence after all the noise. I imagine there were those who begged for a sign of God’s hope even if it came as curses and punishment.
Silence is the worst, isn’t it?
Waiting can be painful.
I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced this silence before. Maybe not 400 years of it, but I have definitely felt the anger and frustration of absolute nothing.
In the midst of chaos and restlessness, silence seems to provide nothing but insecurity.
It can be hard to find comfort for those who are living in a time of silence...except this.
During those 400 years there was nothing. No whispers, no voices...not even shouting.
But there was hope. There was hope living in a promise.
It gave them something to hold on to.
I imagine people searching for the voice that used to ring so clear in their ears.
I imagine a whole nation...hanging onto a single promise.
400 years of whispers and theories.
400 years of tales and rumors.
Hope found in the words of the prophets….
“...the virgin shall conceive and have a son…”
“...and there will be a new covenant…”
“...and those who have walked in darkness will see a new light!...”
A promise of a new hope in the form of a baby.
So after 400 years of waiting, finally...
In one swift calling of a young virgin, teenage, girl, the silence was broken.
She’s about 14 years old and one of the bravest women in all of human history.
She is young and willing.
She carried the promise within her. She carried Him during a long journey to a small town. She gave birth to the Messiah under a starry sky, next to loud, filthy, animals.
This is how our saviour came.
This is how He chose to break the silence.
Friends, for all of you living in a season of waiting and silence. Hear this:
God does not abandon.
He does not forget.
God will not stay silent forever.
Hold onto the hope that is there. Cling to it. Let it carry you.
Remember that special baby born over 2017 years ago...remember that He came for you. To give you hope.
This story that we celebrate every year at this time is for you.
Jesus came to break the silence and answer your waiting heart.
So listen out while you wait.
For while you wait and listen in what may seem like 400 years, you will find an overwhelming hope and peace.
Be secure in this hope. God will not stay silent forever.