The people waited but as the silence continued, the distance between God and His people grew. They reached out to Him with attempts to perfectly follow the Law. Then God would notice them and speak once again as He had in the past. But the silence remained and deepened. Then one night, one very holy night, the silence was broken with the cries of a baby. The Father was speaking through His Son in a way the people never thought possible.
The people had never given up hope that the Messiah would come to them. But the popular image was a powerful warrior king on a charger leading great armies. This Messiah would liberate Israel from all her enemies and give the nation glory, power and wealth that would pale the days of David, their greatest king. But God is the God of surprises, who always catches His people off guard with the unexpected ways He fulfills His promises.
The Father’s Son comes into the world like any other human being. The Son, even though divine, does not shield Himself from poverty, hunger, thirst, tears, laughter, fear or any of the other human emotions or situations. The Christ is fully human in every way but sin. In this, the Father speaks His greatest Word, who became flesh, and the silence is forever broken not simply with the cries of a baby but also the song of the angels to the shepherds who first heard the words of life. They were considered unclean and thieves who allowed their sheep to graze on private property. No one bothered with them. No one spoke to them, except the angels. “Fear not! God’s peace! Fear not! There is only Good News-a Savior is born for you!” They were the first ones who heard, the first ones for whom God broke the silence.
When Christ began His Father’s mission He continued to break the silence and not just to those who were deaf. He broken the silence that sinners experienced from the religious elite when he forgave them. The Christ spoke to the least, the poor, the smelly fishermen, the tax collectors, and gave them life. He even tried to speak words of the Kingdom to those in power so they might experience the fullness of life, yet so many of them chose to live in silence. But never does Christ remain silent to those who call out to Him. His life, death and resurrection show again and again that the Father has spoken His greatest Word Who came to save all people. John of the Cross wrote, “By giving us, as he did, his Son, his only Word, he has in that one Word said everything. There is no need for further revelation.”
On Christmas day many homes with be filled with laughter and conversations among family and friends who will be celebrating! Gifts will be opened and thanks offered for them. This year, give a special gift – break the silence, like God did with the birth of His Son. Call someone you have not spoken with in a long time, especially if the reason for the silence was an argument. Speak words of forgiveness or apology. The Word will become flesh once again in your actions, and the silence will be broken. If the words “I love you” have not been spoken in a while to a spouse, a child or special friend, break the silence and let someone know how important and special they are in your life. And the Word will become flesh once again, relationships strengthened and the silence broken. During the New Year, show concern for others, notice those going through rough times, reach out to the needy, and be a servant like Christ. The silence will be broken and the Word will become flesh again and again through your actions.
More than two thousand years ago the Son came into the world and spoke and lived words of salvation and life, breaking the silence. Now, in our words and actions as His followers, the silence continues to be broken and the Word becomes flesh.