Summary: Christmas broke 400 years of silence from God, big time. Now suddenly at Christmas God was speaking abundantly.
Have you ever heard the expression silence is golden? I can relate to that expression when after a long time of activity and noise in our house there is silence. In those times I relate to the expression silence is golden. But now I want to focus on times when silence is not golden. The Old Testament ended with the book of Malachi. He talked about the forerunner of the messiah coming in the spirit of Elijah. After the book of Malachi closed there was silence. People waited for the Messiah without hearing from God. There is no recorded word from God for four centuries. That time in history is referred to as the silent period. No one was saying, God has not spoken for 400 years, isn’t this golden?
Would you say silence is golden if you were waiting for an answer to prayer and you haven’t heard from God? Of course you would not say isn’t this silence from God golden. There was silence from God for 400 years.
Christmas broke 400 years of silence from God, big time. Now suddenly at Christmas God was speaking abundantly. God spoke through angels, he spoke through dreams, he spoke though the Holy Spirit, He spoke through a star. He spoke to Joseph, Zechariah, Mary, Simeon, shepherds, the wise men.
Christmas is something that was anticipated for generations. The pressure built from the centuries of silence and suddenly that first Christmas God spoke abundantly. The unanimous response to God speaking was praise. It’s Christmas praise God! When we focus on Jesus and we look at the real meaning of Christmas we must Praise God.
There seems to be a common theme of praise that first Christmas when Jesus was born, whether it was:
Zechariah, who praised God after 9 months and 8 days of his own silence
The Wise Men,
John the Baptist, who jumping and leaping and praising God in the womb.
They all break out in praise to God. It was like a volcanic explosion of praise after God spoke again after 400 years.
Let’s look at those involved in the first Christmas and see how they praised God. We need to remember what we celebrating at Christmas and why we’re celebrating Christmas.
We have certain expressions at Christmas: Jesus is the reason for the season or Keep Christ in Christmas.
Praise God for Who He Is
There are so many aspects of Christmas to enjoy, but we need to keep before us who should be the focus of our celebration. Christmas is a time to focus on Jesus. We remember his birth, his coming to earth. There should be a response in us. That first Christmas morning they praised God for his attributes.
One Christmas Eve the telephone rang in the office of the pastor of the church in Washington, D.C. that President Franklin Roosevelt attended. "Tell me Reverend," the voice inquired, "are you holding a Christmas Eve service tonight?" When advised that there would certainly be a service that evening, the caller asked, "And do you expect President Roosevelt to attend your church tonight?" "That," explained the Pastor patiently, "I can’t promise. I’m not sure about the President’s plans for this evening. But I can say that we fully expect God to be in our church tonight.
Angels Luke 2:13-14. What an angelic choir of praise that first Christmas morning. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men. It was a great company of angels.
Marry Luke 1:46-56
In Mary’s praise she focuses on her humility and the greatness of God. At Christmas we should humble ourselves and exalt God
Mary’s song highlights the attributes of God:
Luke 1:52, He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble.
What a great God who brings down the mighty rulers and lifts up the humble. Mary definitely felt she was one of the humble God lifted up. She said in Vs 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me
Mercy vs. 50,
50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Holiness 49b holy is his name
— holy is his name.
After the Angel Gabriel announced that the forerunner to Jesus, the one who would come in the spirit of Elijah this same one that Malachi talked about 400 years when four centuries of silence fell, would be born to him Zechariah became silent. He could not talk for 9 months and eight days. I am sure he never thought isn’t this silence golden. The silence made for bottled up praise. As soon as Zechariah’s tongue was loosed there was nothing but praise. Luke 1:64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.