Advent is the season when we meditate on experiences of waiting and silence in the Scriptures. By coming to terms with the waiting that we see in Scripture, we prepare our souls for those moments when God seems silent in our own lives. One of the ways we prepare ourselves for this silence is by recognizing that, even when we struggle with the silence of God, we are not alone. In the silence, we find ourselves in the company of past prophets who glimpsed God’s glory but who died before they saw God’s plans fulfilled. “All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance” (Hebrews 11:13).
But how can we find joy in those moments when God seems silent?
When we step into Luke’s accounts of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah, we gain a glimpse into the lives of people who remained faithful in the silence. Through their stories, Scripture opens the door for us to understand how to endure the seeming silence of God with joy.
The Silence of God Is Not the Absence of God
By the time Zechariah the priest stepped into the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, God had seemed silent for four centuries. What we quickly learn in Luke’s account of Zechariah and Elizabeth is that the silence of God had not been the absence of God but the preparation of God to be present in far greater ways than we could ever have planned or imagined. In this sermon, I invite you to take a step with me into the story of Zechariah and to prepare your soul to embrace the silence of God.
Discuss in the Comments:
Listen to this message that I shared at the Midtown congregation of Sojourn Community Church. Where in your life have you sensed the silence of God most strongly? How does the cross of Jesus provide an answer in the silence? How will these truths change how you respond to the seeming silence of God?
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