I woke up this morning and my house was silent. That’s atypical in my house. A certain four-year old usually thinks Saturdays are the best days to come remind me that “It’s morning time!” and that he is ready to eat some cereal. But today, it was quiet. I first I was grateful then I had a mini panic attack…because silence and four-year olds don’t usually pair well together.
I peeked in the bedroom and quickly found the reason for the silence. His older sister had invited him to her top bunk and they were quietly watching cartoons together. The silence was a mirage. It seemed quiet but the truth is, someone had distracted the noise maker and the morning appeared to remain silent.
Today is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I don’t know if it has an official name, but I always think of it as Silent Saturday. On this day, God was quiet. The disciples had fled and scattered into hiding. Jesus’ body lay hidden in a tomb.
The storms of Good Friday had ceased and silence remained.
For all anyone knew, that silence was an eternal one.
Since the disciples didn’t understand his teaching of his resurrection, the gaping silence was to be without end. They did not even have the hope of eternity that we have today when we lose those we love. It was an impenetrable silence.
And this morning as I reflected on these two things, my silent house and the silence of that day, I thought about some times in Scripture where the silence was broken.
I thought about Josiah, king at the age of eight, worshiper at the age of 16, and by the age of 20, destroyer of temples to foreign gods and repairer of God’s holy temple.
I thought about Miriam who silently followed a baby in a basket down the Nile and when he was discovered by a princess, bravely broke the silence to speak up for her brother; an act that not only spared her brother but eventually saved her entire nation.
I thought about David, a shepherd boy, who took on a giant with a sling and a stone, while the men of Israel hid in fear.
I thought of a boy named Samuel who repeatedly woke the priest Eli up in the night, not without cause, but because God was speaking to him and giving him words of truth to share.
I thought about how God has “taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.” (Ps. 8:2)
I thought about Jesus’ words to the disciples when he said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Mt. 18:1-5).
And after thinking about all these things, I thought I might encourage all of us on this day of silence, to seek out the voice of a child. Sit with them. Ask them about what Jesus means to them. Ask them about the love of God. Ask them about what God looks like and then ask them if they ever hear God speak.
My guess is that that any silence we’ve been experiencing in our own walk with Christ will be sweetly broken by the voice of infants and children telling of His strength, silencing our enemies and the things that oppose or distract us from hearing God’s voice.
On this, the most silent of our holy days, may we take time to listen.
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About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.