Silence. For more than 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, God’s people heard nothing from Him. No prophets came on the scene to correct them. No one came forward to bring hope or encouragement to “press on to know the Lord.” There was just silence. Silence and waiting.
God’s people didn’t live very well while they waited. They added lots of new rules and regulations about how they should live, but they didn’t go about the business of telling others about how great God is. And in their legalism and disobedience their misery deepened.
We know how that time of waiting ended. A Baby born into poverty in a rented stable was the Messiah God’s people longed for. Most people missed this first Advent. This first arrival of the King. They missed it because they weren’t waiting well.
That Baby grew up and was on His way to die for His people in Jerusalem. But His people still didn’t get it. So Jesus told them a story to help them learn how to live well while they waited for His second Advent.
We’ll look at that story in Luke 19 this coming Sunday. Hopefully as we study that story we’ll learn how to wait well as we look forward to His final return.
The good news is that we can sing while we wait! I think this familiar Christmas carol captures the idea well:
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
See you Sunday!