Read the final words of Malachi and then pause for as long as you can before reading beginning with Luke 1:5-25. There is roughly a 400 year gap between the close of Malachi and the announcement of John the Baptist’s birth. (I was going to be silent for 6 and ½ minutes, one second for every year but I didn’t think you could stand it. I know I couldn’t stand it any longer.)
For some 400 years since the last words of Malachi were penned – most Jews believed that since there had been no prophets, that God had been silent. History bears out that God had indeed been active – even as 2000 years of History since Christ have demonstrated God working, but there have been no writing prophets bringing us a new word from God. The canon of scripture is closed. But many people today still believe that God is silent. But something happens when we begin the actual story of Luke with verse 5. God breaks the silence.
This morning I want to begin talking about what happens when you feel like God isn’t speaking and more importantly what happens when God breaks the silence.
The theological truth is that God is not silent. He never is. But the experience of our lives is that often our prayers sometimes go on and on without obvious answer, and still we keep praying; hoping with faith that God will somehow break the silence and send down an angel to proclaim his favor to us. Sometimes as Christians we despise those stretches of time when God is not putting burning bushes in our paths, but the truth is that while he will never leave us or forsake us, still he grows us and matures us by causing our faith to be faith.