Between Malachi and the Gospel of Matthew we have silence. Advent is about waiting in the silence and waiting in the groaning. We hold our breath and we count the hours and days until the silence is broken. We know the promises, we know what the this offspring will be like and we long for him, we groan for him to come and crush the serpent’s head.
I wonder if it felt like heaven was silent? I wonder if in the thick darkness they kept their eyes fixed on the one that is to come, waiting to see the light pierce the darkness.
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. “(Amos 8:11)
I wonder if the cries of the people just echoed around and the earth groaned and ached. The silence must have felt deafening, a ringing silence that drips with promise and hope. A silence that can only be broken by the shrill cry or gurgle of a new-born. This new-born will shatter the silence into a million pieces and he will herald good news and the heavens will open up with a chorus and the whole earth shall rejoice. Trees will clap, the sky will thunder, the animals will leap with joy and the humans, the Adam born will breathe a sigh of relief with tears and joy.
He has come. He is here. The silence is over. The waiting is over.
Christmas is about the breaking of the silence by the cry of a baby.