I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just can’t shut up. Can you imagine not being able to say a word for 9 months? I know some people who would explode if it happened to them. Well, that’s what happened to Zechariah in the Bible. He was a member of the Levite clan, the priests, and his turn to serve in the temple came up. He and his wife were devoted, but they had no children, which in that day and time probably made people wonder.
While Zechariah was serving in the Temple, an angel appeared to him. The angel told him that his wife would have a baby who would prepare the way for the messiah. The angel also told him that he would be named John. Zechariah didn’t believe him. So the angel said he would not be able to speak until all that had taken place. So for nine months he was unable to talk, until his wife Elizabeth had the baby and he was named John.
If you had been unable to talk for nine months, what would you say once you could speak? Would you have a list of smart remarks and comments to make? Would you have a list of opinions to express? Would you complain that no one had given you a paper and pencil for 9 months? Of all the things he could have said, he praised God for sending a Savior. Jesus would not be born for six months, but Zechariah declared that John would prepare the way for the messiah. He told every one that God was sending light into the darkness. He broke the silence by proclaiming the grace and salvation of God.
It’s about time to break the silence. We live in a world that dwells in darkness. Sure you go out at night and the artificial lights are so bright you can’t see the sky. But it’s artificial. People think that they are in the light in our society, but it is really an artificial light. It is a light that keeps them from seeing the real light in the darkness.
Have you ever gone out into the country? When you get away from the lights of the cities and towns you can see the stars at night. It’s a beautiful light. But most people don’t see it. All they see is the spiritually artificial stuff that blinds them.
It is time for us to break the silence. The world needs to see the light of God in Christ. But too many people lose the real light of Christ in the
artificial Christmas lights. They miss the gift of love and life from God in the rush to get the perfect gift for that someone. They lose the manger and the baby in all the other decorations and the hullabaloo of the season. So we who see it need to say something!
That’s a bigger task than you might think. Remember Zechariah was a religious man. He was a priest! He led the people in worship in the temple. And an angel told him that the light of God was coming and that his son would prepare the way for it. Yet Zechariah didn’t believe it.
If an angel can’t convince a priest of the light of God, what hope do we have convincing a secular society? In Zechariah’s day they had been waiting for the Messiah for centuries. They were conquered again and again and again. Israel was a pawn in the battles between the parts of the Greek empire. Finally the Romans conquered them and kept the peace – at the point of a sword.
So the darkness, spiritual as well as political, was deep. But the angel helped Zechariah. He silenced him long enough to make him look. And Zechariah saw his elderly barren wife become great with child. And he saw a baby born to them and he saw the light! And when he finally did say something, people listened.
We have some help in breaking the silence. Zechariah had an angel to help him see it and tell others, but we have the genuine article! Jesus the light of the world dwells in us. He will enable us to tell the world.
This is a dark world, but Jesus’ light is shining in it. People’s lives are being transformed by the grace and forgiveness and love of God. You have seen it! You have experienced it!
Just tell people what God has done for you. Have you seen the light? Have you experienced forgiveness and grace? Have you known eternal and abundant life? Then break the silence and tell the world.
How can we do that? Follow the example of Zechariah. Just praise God. Give God the glory. Especially in this season.
Share God’s love with others. You’re out in the crowds. Just love your neighbor in the Wal-Mart or Target checkout line. Be gracious to other people searching for parking places at the mall.
You many not have an angel to help you. But you have Jesus the light of the world living in you. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Break the silence!
|Dec 6, 2015||Breaking the Silence||Listen||Download|