I love thinking about the special intersection between heaven and earth during the season of Jesus being born into this world.
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son….” (Luke 1:13)
“The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God…” (Luke 1:30)
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news…” (Luke 2:8-10)
“…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
“…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt…” (Matthew 1:13)
The angels were sent to clearly articulate God’s plan, extend reassurance of God’s dealings with them to be good, not evil; and to give specific direction. Of all who heard these angelic voices, only Zacharias responded in doubt, to which the angel responded: “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”(Luke 1:19-20)
And so he was. The silence was both deafening and confusing to those around him.
Jesus sent us “the Helper,” the Paracletos, one called alongside to help – the Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor. Jesus stated, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (John 15:26,27)
When we hear the Voice of the Spirit, do we stop and recognize that the One who is speaking to us can truthfully state, “I am Jesus, Who stands in the Presence of God?” or that His Spirit will “guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak”? (John 16:13)
I encourage you to ponder this thought as it relates to us: when hearing His Voice, the Voice of the One who stands in the Presence of God, do we react as Mary, who sang out “My soul exalts the Lord” (Luke 1:46) or like Zacharias who asked, “How will I know that this is for certain?” (Luke 1:18)
Our answer to that question can result in an outpouring of Grace and Joy that touches the lives of others…or a deafening and confusing silence.