30 December 2008

Spoken in silence...

From the Introit for the Day:

While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her swift course, thine almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne.

-Wisdom 18:14-15a

The image of the Almighty God sending out His Incarnate Word while all of creation was in silence is a powerful picture. It has a sense of timelessness, and yet it is an actual event. Rather than coming with fanfare and loud announcements, God chose a quiet way. And too, there is a link with the description found in St. John’s Book of the Revelation, chapter 8, verse 1, where he writes, “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” This silence marks the awe which comes before the great blasts of the trumpets which will follow. St. John tells us that while it is still silent, an angel comes and stands at the altar of incense with a golden censor, reminding us of the priest Zachariah, who received God’s revelation about the Forerunner while offering incense. The silence took place just before the great battle was to begin, linking it to the “quiet silence” in the Book of Wisdom, that silence in which the Lord and Conqueror chose to come.