Dec7TueKeeping Quiet December 7, 2021
WEDNESDAY in the WORD
Sounds of Silence
Most Christmas pageants these days include the story of angels appearing to shepherds and the scene of Gabrial appearing to Mary. Luke however begins his account first with the story of Zachariah meeting Gabrial in the temple. I wonder why we easily overlook this introduction to the Christmas narrative each year. Perhaps there may be lessons we can “hear” if we slow down and listen.
When Zachariah reveals his doubts about the message from angel Gabrial, a very interesting and unusual course of action is taken Zacheriah became unable to speak until after John was born. I can’t imagine not being able to talk. Even when I find myself alone, there are many times I might talk to myself out loud. Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? I think it’s only human too. Long-winded preachers have been accused of liking the sound of their own voice too much!
Zachariah may have doubted the message because he had insecurity over getting old. Luke 1:18 “Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.’”
It’s natural for us to evaluate and doubt what we can do, yet hearing from God and what He can do takes more listening than talking. One lesson from Zachariah's experience may be that we can learn a lot by not saying anything. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God”
God had bigger plans than Zacheriah could imagine. This coming baby named John would be a wonderful blessing! Luke 1:14-15 “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord.”
In this busy season, in our 24-hour world of nonstop noise, we would do well to take time to be still and silent in the Lord’s presence. You may find your thoughts racing at first, recalling lists of things to do, but each time we refocus them on Jesus, we become more aware of God’s blessing in our life. Lord, help us to stop and listen and rest in your love and presence. Let the sound of our silence draw us closer to you.