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A Different Kind of “Silent Night”

Dec 13, 2015
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A Different Kind of “Silent Night”
Have you ever considered that page in your Bible between Malachi and Matthew? That page represents 400 years of silence. A silence after the prophets stopped speaking about the coming Messiah, and a silence before Jesus’ birth and John the Baptist’s announcement in the wilderness. That moment of His birth was a “sonic boom” in the history of humanity. In that moment, everything changed. But what was happening in that 400 years of silence? Was God disinterested in creation? Of course not.

Silence does not equal stillness or absence. During the 400 years of silence, a whole lot of history happened. Persia was in control at the end of the book of Malachi. Then control went to Assyria and Babylonia,. During the time of the Babylonians, the Temple was destroyed and the kingdom was divided. 10 Tribes went North to become Israel, and 2 tribes went South to become Judah. God’s people and the land were a mess. Then, Alexander the Great comes onto the scene and Greece conquers the world. As a result, the Greek language brought a common tongue to the world. Israel later reunites and Rome takes control. During the time of the Roman Empire, roads connect cities, and there is a way for important messages to quickly get delivered.

Jesus was born in the middle of all of this “progress”. God was at work the entire time, and knew exactly when Jesus needed to entire the world. It was in a time and place that would allow Jesus’ message to spread quickly. It was also in a season of history where death occurred by the shedding of blood. That had to happen to fulfill prophecy and for us to be forgiven. God was working the most when if felt quiet.

To discuss today
1. Read and discuss Galatians 4:4. What does it mean when it says, “When the fullness of time had come…”?

2. Do you ever feel like God has forgotten your name or address? What do you do in those moments? What truths can you hold onto during those times?

3. Who are you waiting to see again? Why do you miss them?

4. What is different about waiting for Jesus’ second coming? What is our job during this waiting period?

Father, there are times when I feel forgotten. I know you love me and want the best for me, but there are times where circumstances and heartache just do not make sense to me. Help me, through your Spirit, to remember that you are always at work, and that you care about every part of me. This Christmas, help me be a reflection of you to someone that may feel like you are absent. I want to bring Your joy to others. I trust Your timing…even when I do not understand it. Thank you for loving me in all circumstances.