Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ssh! Did you just hear something?

Four hundred years.

Four-freaking-hundred years.

That's how long it's been since we've heard anything from God. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Not even a whisper.

He used to talk to us all the time, but those days are long gone.

Granted, it was usually through some annoying prophet -- Isaiah, Amos, Malachi, just to name a few -- accusing us of abandoning our Covenant with God. We usually just rolled our eyes at them. Maybe, just maybe, we should have listened.

Oh, watch your step, there. It's really dark tonight, isn't it? I can barely see a cubit in front of me!

Now, what were you asking about again? Oh, right, the four hundred years...

Now, when I said "we", of course, I really meant our ancestors. None of us were around then, after all. So, why are we being punished for their lack of response? I mean, seriously... four hundred years of silence? Really? For something we weren't even alive for?
Anyway, the local Pharisees (our religious leaders -- now there's a grumpy crew) have been neurotically obsessed with keeping all the rules of the Covenant. And even adding new ones, just in case God may have overlooked something. Maybe they think that will convince God to stop ignoring us.

Our other religious leaders, the Sadduccees, say this is the "new normal", and we just have to get used to it.

And don't get me started on the Romans and their occupying army. Everybody says we are "God's chosen people", but Rome does whatever it pleases on our streets and has for years.

What's that? You think you saw something? Where?

In that corner house? You mean that bright light in the window? Yeah, now that you mention it, that does seem more intense than any lantern I've ever used.

Oh wait... it's gone now, whatever it was. Now it seems even darker out here. Watch your step, okay?

Anyway, I've about given up any hope of God ever doing anything remarkable. I mean, four hundred years is a long time, wouldn't you agree? Maybe God has forgotten about us, or given up on us, or... who knows?

All I'm sure of is this: four hundred years of silence gives me very little hope for the future...
*     *     *

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant.” (Luke 1:26-38 NLT)

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