I think it is so appropriate that the first candle we light for advent celebrates Hope. I was listening to a song yesterday, and I was reminded that from Malachi to Matthew, God is silent. Not just the people aren't listening close to what God is saying to them, but rather He is absolutely SILENT.
Think about that for a second, have you ever set in absolute silence? Is it just me, or can absolute silence be deafening at times? It is almost overwhelming for us. Maybe because we live in a society where it is so rare, or maybe that is just the way God created it. Think about times when something has happened and left you speechless, or left someone with you speechless. You are just hoping that they will say something, anything, but instead they sit in silence and the whole mood of the conversation is altered.
Now put that into perspective of what is happening in scripture from Malachi to Matthew. 400 years make up this space between these to books. 400 years of absolute SILENCE. 400 years! A few minutes of silence is enough to make me uncomfortable, but 400 years! Think about that. Entire generations lived and died not hearing God speak.
Finally after all those years, God speaks to His people again, but this time, through angels and the cry of an infant. And in that cry as that precious baby was born, the sound of hope was heard once again.
As we look forward to the Christmas season, I pray that we take the time to truly look at all this season means. I pray that we look beyond the gifts, and traditions. I pray that we see that HOPE entered the world at Christmas through the person of Jesus Christ.