The Christmas carol is Silent Night. It will celebrate its two hundredth birthday this Christmas. It was first performed in a small town in Austria, Christmas Eve, 1818, where it became one of the most cherished Christmas songs of all times. Much of the world has heard and sung its beautiful lyrics.
It brings memories flooding into my heart and mind of midnight candlelight services that ended with the church sanctuary bathed in the soft glow of flickering candles and the congregation singing those beloved lyrics. It meant the end of the most beautiful worship moment of the year but the anticipation of hurrying home to try to sleep with sugar plums dancing in my head and the thoughts of gifts under the tree the next morning.
It felt like I would have to wait forever but in reality, it would just be a few hours before our waking chatter caused our parents to open their eyes and greet the Christmas dawn.
But there was a time of waiting that wasn’t hours or days or even decades, but it was centuries.
It has come to be known as the “Silent Years” and it is the 400 years between the close of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New. It is called that because during those years, there was no recorded communication between God and man.
Oh, He was at work. If you look over the events that took place during those chapters in history, much was going on. God always moves, but it seemed His voice was silent until one moment in time, a message came.
The silent years were not silent any more.