December 08, 2006

Silent Nights

Isaiah 53:1-7

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7


One of the world's most loved Christmas songs is Silent Night. There's something especially moving about reflecting, through song, on the silent, holy night long ago when Jesus was born.

About six hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah described another silent time in the Savior's life. Though he was innocent, "he was oppressed and afflicted" with suffering during his arrest and trial; "he was led like a lamb to the slaughter," but "he did not open his mouth."

When his persecutors made false accusations, Jesus said nothing. While he hung in torment on the cross for nearly six hours, he spoke only a few brief sentences. When darkness covered the land and it was like night for about three hours--the voice of Jesus and the voice of God were both silent (see Matthew 27:12-14, 45-50).

Maybe you find yourself suffering in silence this Christmas. Perhaps every night is silent and lonely because there is no one available to listen. If so, remember that Jesus knows what it is to suffer in silence.

Jesus knows our suffering, and he promises that even in the most silent of nights his holy presence is with us; we are not alone. As he promised his disciples after he rose again, he says to us, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Dear Jesus, it's comforting to know that you know the depths of our suffering and that you are with us, even in the most silent of nights. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Joel Sheeres

Rev. Joel Sheeres is the pastor at First Christian Reformed Church in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife, Christine, have three children. Pastor Sheeres has previously served at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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