Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

Silence and Betrayal

At our church, we are engaged in something called "The Jesus Story Year" (  Yesterday, the story of Christ was based in the tale of Joseph and his brothers from the last several chapters of the Book of Genesis.

I focused on the idea of betrayal.  Judah betrays his brother Joseph, Judas and Peter betray Christ, inevitably I betray Christ.  Not a happy topic, and also one that I was having a hard time with as far as figuring out how to communicate it.  How could I talk about the reality of betrayal, but also the truth of Christ's amazing love even to his betrayers?

Then on Saturday night (when all the parts of my sermon, which I have been playing with all week, usually come together) I was in my office praying when suddenly I thought of Silence.  Silence is a novel by Shusaku Endo, and one of my favorite works of fiction.  I have not read it in many years, but I will never forget the climatic scene.

I'm sitting at my desk and I think "I wonder if I could refer to Silence in this sermon?"  Then I wonder where my copy is.  I stand up, and without hesitation I walk to one of my six book cases and my hand goes directly to the book.  I felt that God was guiding me to this particular story.

I read from the book during the sermon, and you can listen to the sermon for yourself if you want to judge the effectiveness of it.  In any case, I do want to recommend this fantastic book.  Yes, I spoil the climax in my sermon.  But I think the book is well worth reading, and I don't feel that many readers will be surprised by the ending in any case. 

So, check out Shusaku Endo's Silence, preferably at your local bookstore, but also at