Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright . . .
All is calm, all is bright . . .
The night of Jesus’ birth was anything but silent. People flooded the streets of Bethlehem as they returned to their ancestral home to obey the decree by Caesar Augustus. Mary and Joseph weren’t the only ones who couldn’t find lodging in Bethlehem. The inns were bursting at the seams. Many found themselves sleeping on the street, in alleyways or anywhere that might offer a little shelter from the elements. Did business owners wanting to cash in on this influx of visitors, keep their establishments open late into the night? Was the darkness filled with raucous laughter, wild bar fights and general mayhem?
Did anyone hear a teenage girl screaming in the early hours of the morning as she gave birth? Did anyone notice a mangy lot of shepherds tramping through the town on their way to see this baby miracle?
The Son of God slipped into our world unnoticed and unsung (except to a few insignificant, unimportant men). There were no trumpets to herald the king’s birth, no luxurious linens to wrap His new born body in and no doting relatives to rejoice in His coming.
But heaven knew!
Was there a silent, holy hush as the angels watched this incredible phenomenon? Did heaven hold its breath as this God-baby was born, only to burst out in song, laughter and joy to a lowly group of men on a hillside?
How similar are worlds are. . . the preoccupation, distractedness, busyness, noise and mayhem of life.
We celebrate the birth of the Christ-child every year but it’s often so filled with other things that we barely stop to recognize who we’re really throwing the party for.
There’s the cookies to bake, the presents to buy and the relatives to visit. The school programs to attend, church events to serve at, and work parties to show up for. There are family traditions to maintain, decorations inside and out to put up and the list goes on and on.
And God is left on the doorstep as we welcome family and friends with arms wide open, as we unwrap gifts, eat platefuls of goodies and bow down to the materialism all around us.
Is there a holy hush as heaven hold’s it’s breath to see if this is the year that we remember. . . if this is the year that we will welcome Jesus in, sit in the silence of His presence and celebrate the extravagant, enormous, unconditional gift of LOVE?
Will this be the year we halt the chaos and embrace the SILENCE, the PEACE, and the JOY?
. . . Because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign; You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Luke 2.4-12 (NLT)