And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:12 NIV)

As I pondered the 400 years of silence, I honestly felt many unsettling emotions, unlike when I sing the popular Christmas song, “Silent Night.”

I’ve come to learn that the voice of God brings order, honor, and holiness. A world void of His voice breeds chaos, disgrace, and rebellion. No one rules the way God rules because His rulings are fair, just, and loving. Other rulers are self-serving, deceptive, and hate-fueled.

I know you may be thinking, this sounds a lot like the world we live in now.

And you would be correct. But we will talk more about that. (There is hope.)

Being ruled by those who are spiritually oppressed leads to the oppression of those who are spiritually lost.

In order for a lost and dying world to be saved, we need both God’s presence and the fulfillment of His promises. When Jesus came, we were given access to both.

The birth of Jesus was a symbol of God’s love and redemption for us, His children.

The manifest presence of God is required for the salvation that we needed to remove us from the penalty of hell. That is why we need Jesus, Immanuel, God with us to break the silence.

God was for us, but salvation required that God be with us!

So the Christmas Story must begin.