One theme that has stood out to me this Christmas season has been the episodes of silence in many of the accounts and events leading up to and resulting from the birth of Christ. Fitting with the celebration of our Christmas season, we often focus on the singing, laughing, and joy of Christmas. There was certainly lots of that to go around, but at advent there were also very poignant, very personal moments of silence – some self-motivated (think Mary’s pondering) and some imposed (think Zechariah’s muteness).
In the hurried, jingled, tinseled days of Christmas, in the news-cycle, buzzfeed, post-frenzied lives we often slip into;
join me in this challenge:
FALL PRONE & worship.
Read for yourself the accounts of that first Christmas, and let God speak through them.
Quiet the day and ask others to share in your amazement at such a miraculous, mysterious salvation.
Find a moment away and plant seeds of wonder in your child’s heart.
Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 1:18-20 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” (19) And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. (20) And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
Matthew 2:11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
When do we shut our mouths in silence at the chorus of God’s majesty? The incomparable wonder of God’s proclamation of redemption smothers my foolish heart and drowns my ignorant speech. “I am undone!” says Isaiah the prophet. I am put in my place – a place of receipt, a place to lie flat and not stand, a place to be silent.
DISCLAIMER: Damaris says that I sound like the Grinch – “all the noise, noise, noise!” Maybe there’s truth to that – Hah!
Let me not forget that this exhale of silence, this moment of awe is effectively a calibration of my spirit – a moment to gather in all the truth of who I really am in the great universe of God’s scheming. A realignment that fits me into my true place – as the creature…then….then…I can sound. Then we can sound the pure ring of praise from mere creature to exalted creator, from freed prisoner to righteous ransomer, from lowly shepherd on a hillside to searing radiance of a glorious God. These responses all have their place and will find their voice as witnessed in Mary’s magnificat (Luke 1:46) , the wisemen’s joy at finding the Messiah (Matthew 2:10), and the shepherds jubilation:
Luke 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
May an awesome silence lead our families to an awesome celebration of the Christ child this Christmas!
a thought from Nathan