[written Christmas Eve 2013]
On this night before Christmas, as the highway traffic hums on and the epileptic Sweet Frog sign lights up the wall with its constant blinking, I try to stop an imagine the night creation held its breath. I close my eyes, and I try to quiet the noises, but with no luck. I wonder if that’s how it was in Bethlehem too. With all those people in for the census, I doubt it was truly a “silent night”. Snores and late night spousal arguments may have filled the streets. Murmers about the Romans and the zealots, not to mention complaints about the long trip, were heard throughout the town, I’m sure. I doubt many noticed the young couple on the donkey, nor the star above. I’m sure if they did they chalked it up to some strange phenomena.. or maybe even aliens.
But nature would likely tell a different story. “All creation groans with eager anticipation for the adoption of sons..” How much more so would it stir with excitement for its Creator to finally tread its earth again — just like the good ol’ garden days. And then there were the angels! For years God had been planning redemption and restoration, and it was finally here. Oh, how they must have held their breath, stifling their joy at the Master’s joy. How long He has waited for this day! Sitting on the edge of their seats, they prepared to serenade a group of smelly sheep-herders, but first, they just have to see the birth.
And for two souls, Mary, and our Abba, I’m sure time stood still. It couldn’t go fast enough. The Savior was almost here! Yet both of them knew; with a twinge of sadness they recognized, He would not forever be hers to hold. He would grow, He would grieve, He would ache. All of this glory for one long day of pain, and three more of silence. I wonder if Joseph noticed Mary’s face fall… But only for a moment. Yes, that may come but it is not yet here. Right now a mother holds her baby, and a Father holds His daughter. Right now she is storing these things up in her heart, and right now He’s protecting it. Right now there is a stillness and quiet beyond the ear’s ability to hear. For right now, in the city of David, a savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.