This little corner in our bedroom has turned into my favorite spot this season. The last words I see before bed, the first words I see when I rise in the morning, and the words I see by the glow of the baby monitor when I’m getting up to nurse in the middle of the night, are a reminder of what Christmas is all about.
Did you know that the time right before Jesus was born was marked by 400 years of silence for God’s people? FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. That’s like...a whole bunch of generations. I don’t think I’ve often paused to think about the impact of that on their faith. How hard it must have been as a parent or a grandparent to try to pass down the stories of how God had done so many miraculous things for their ancestors when he appeared to be far away for their entire lifetime and the lifetimes of several generations before them.
If I’m being honest, I’m not so sure I would have believed either. We recognize Advent as a period of waiting for our Savior to come. The Israelites were desperate for their promised Messiah to come and rescue them from the political, societal, and spiritual oppression they had endured for so long. Jesus truly was the long-expected King, born to set his people free.
But don’t we need this exact same rescue today? Do we not also live with this same desperate expectation? Our promised King will return to deliver us from the oppression of the evil one in this fallen world. He will put into action the salvation He is keeping for us until the proper time. He will restore all brokenness and establish His kingdom in peace. Our hope rests in this assurance alone!
We live in the age between two advents. Just like the Israelites, we wait in “silence” for the Messiah to return again. And maybe today, you feel the weight of this silence. Maybe you’re questioning whether or not God is really aware of your circumstances, or whether or not he really cares about you. Maybe you’re not sure if you trust His Word, or maybe you think it’s just not relevant to your life. Is he really present? Is he really working?
Here’s the crazy thing: we’re not the first group of people to wrestle with those things. But those who doubted before...they were wrong. God was at work in the silence then, and the same is true for us today. Look to the promises the Son of God has already fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. He came for us. He was born to set us free! And he is coming again. Will you be ready? Do you know him?
Come, thou long expected Jesus.