24 Dec '13
Silence, Chaos, Rejoicing, and Holy Awe
SilenceThe heavens held their collective breath for the Son was gone. The unimaginable was unfolding. The One who had superintended creation was now ready to be born a creature. What could this mean? Majesty of heaven rejected for the poverty of a squalid earth and a people who had rejected truth too many times to count. They had traded the garden for a lie and now the creator traded majesty for obscurity. It was a silence of unbelief, awe, apprehension and wonder!
Nativity scenes are peaceful and neat but this night in Bethlehem was anything but. The tiny town was full of travelers, the inns and taverns were full and noisy and crowed and smelly. Desperately, a man tried to find a place for his wife, swollen with child, water about to break, a place where a child could be born in dignity but it was not to be. Instead, it was the to be with the animals, hay and manure, the sounds and smells of the adjacent Inn intruding on this holy moment.
The silence of heaven gave way to song and praise and rejoicing penetrating the chasm between heaven and earth so that even poor shepherds heard the choir and angelic announcement. This first musical Christmas card came not to the mighty and powerful but to the poor and powerless: A symbol of the Kingdom that was coming - good news for those who needed the same. Good news of a great joy which shall be for all people. Even us, even today! A Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Now there was silence on earth as the shepherds tried to understand the import of the news.
There was one who knew that the universe had changed and that what was was not what would be: Mary. Too young to be jaded, faith filled and and in awe of the child that lay at her breast. For she knew that He was not of this earth though she did not know the price He would pay. She remembered the angel who had visited her upon her pregnancy. Now she heard the report of the shepherds who came to visit. All the people wondered at their report but Mary, treasured up these things pondering them in her heart. She knew, not fully, but she knew!
We know fully for we know the rest of the story. Does it move us as it moved the heavens, the angels, the shepherds, the people of Bethlehem and Mary? This is a day to consider, to rejoice and to be awed at the love that drove a rejected Savior to save the broken, the needy, each of us who have received Him in faith.