Christmas Silence

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                December 19, 2012

My guess is that the most popular Christmas carol is “Silent Night”. Traditionally, it is the song that we end our Christmas Eve Candlelight with. The congregation is standing, each person with their candle glowing. A stillness settles over the congregation as the music begins:

Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright!”

Perhaps it is the offer at a change of pace that makes the carol so appealing. Christmas is amplified with noise it seems. I was in Walmart the other day and had several toys talking to me as I passed them in the aisles. Seriously! The sound of a monster truck accelerating made me exit a toy truck and cars aisle quickly. In the next aisle a stuffed puppy started panting at me.

Christmas noise. Christmas echoes echoing echoes. Christmas jazz rock.

And so “Silent Night” seems so soothing and comforting. I don’t want to dramatize it too much, but it seems that the birthplace of Jesus…off to the side…out of the banter and bustling…was more about the lack of noise. Perhaps there was some livestock standing around, but what I mean is that no one thought it important enough to make noise over.

In fact, most of the Christmas story characters had journeys that included silence. For shepherds it  was important to have quiet so their hearing could be attuned to any predators lurking close to their herd of sheep. The silence helped them hear any uneasiness in their flock.

The wise men from the East had spent a long period of time traveling in the quiet of wilderness and through valleys. In the Luke account it mentions that after Elizabeth found out she was pregnant she went into seclusion for five months (Luke 1:24). Obviously her husband, Zechariah, wasn’t making any noise!

Silence in the incarnational event punctuated the point that God was doing something incredible.

I’ll be visiting my parents back in Ohio the week after Christmas. My mom is at that point in her life where silence is the norm. She has trouble verbalizing what she is thinking and so there are long periods of uncomfortable quiet, because I’m expecting that the next words are going to come. It’s a hard adjustment seeing your mom, who always talked to you…and even more than you got to say…suddenly be silent. I, however, will always opt for a silent mom over a noisy supermarket, a quite moment sitting by her bed over screaming consumers at the mall.

They say that silence is golden. If that’s true why don’t more people just keep quiet?

Silent night, holy night!”

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Christianity, Christmas, Freedom, Grace, Humor, Jesus, love, Prayer, Story, Uncategorized

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