Monday, December 12, 2011

Luke 2:10-15

 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is [e]Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [f]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [g]with whom He is pleased.”

It's that time of year again, the crowds, the stress, the same sermon over and over again at church: Luke 2, Luke 2, Luke 2.  

For us, it seems to be magnified as we are shopping for new family members, and learning their likes and dislikes, trying to settle into a new home, dealing the the anniversary of Layne's homecoming, and of course, finding a new church.  This means we have heard a LOT of sermons on Luke 2.

What interested me most about the sermons was not the scriptural reference itself, but that in the last two weeks, two pastors have mentioned an interesting fact.  It seems that prior to the events in Luke 2, there had been a period of 400 years of silence from God to the nation of Israel.  

Now this was God's chosen people.  It was a nation that had been blessed with visits from God at a burning bush, his presence in the Tabernacle, and warnings, guidance and prophesy from his prophets.  They were accustomed to a close relationship with the Lord.  It was a relationship that they at times took for granted, but God was always there, always in contact.  Suddenly, there was only silence.  And that silence continued for generation after generation.

Sometimes, you have to hear something more than once to listen to the Lord.  And so it was for me, hearing this message.  I thought it was interesting the first week, but this week, I realized, God was telling me something.  

Last year, at this time, I was begging God, I was pleading with Him, bargaining with Him, and so was Layne.  I prayed in faith, and yet, I felt He was not answering me.  After Layne went home, I truly felt that no matter what I said to God, He never answered.  He was totally silent.  

Today, I realized, he was letting me know that sometimes, he is silent for a reason.  He is not being cruel, he has his reasons.  Those reasons are not for me to know, it is for me to seek His face.  When He is ready, He will reveal His purposes.  That revelation may not occur here in this lifetime.  But He loves us and He is trustworthy.  

At this time of year, a lot of people feel God is silent to them.  It has been a rough few years for everyone I know.  Job losses, losses of spouses, losses of homes...all hard stuff, and it seems overwhelming sometimes. However, though He may be silent, He is making preparations for us.  Just as during the 400 years, God was making preparations for a Savior.

So this Christmas season, if you feel God is being silent...don't quit talking to Him.  Trust that He is there...and always will be.  

Merry Christmas...we love you all.

1 comment:

  1. I imagine that His silence must have been scary to the faithful, the remnant of that time if you will. But then, they had His previous words so maybe those few just carried on, like Simeon and Anna.
    Our pastor called the shepherds the first evangelists. The lowest of the low went out to proclaim what they had seen, then returned, rejoicing.
    Blessings to you this Christmas and always.