Beginning with Thanksgiving and extending until Christmas Day, the holiday season can tax the best of us.
I’ve experienced years when I dreaded the thought of December. Not because I didn’t enjoy celebrating the birth of the Savior but because I knew activities would encumber almost every evening. The church Christmas party, the cantatas, the Christmas caroling, and of course the present buying.
By the time Christmas Eve arrived, my wallet was empty, and my body drained. I welcomed Christmas Day…but not so I could celebrate my Savior’s birth. Rather so I could celebrate the end of the hustle and bustle. Finally, I could breathe…and rest…and see family. Some of which I hadn’t seen for more than a year.
As our family gathered in our traditional circle to open presents, the children’s excitement and the adult’s conversations created noise, yet there was a hidden silence I hadn’t experienced during the entire month. The silence of peace. Peace because the celebrations were over, and peace because the Prince of Peace had been born.
Despite the noise and hectic events engulfing Mary’s small family, her son, our Savior, was born into Christmas silence amidst outside noise.
The Roman emperor had issued a registration decree for tax and military purposes. The order required everyone to return to their hometown—Mary and Joseph included. This meant an arduous eighty-mile trip to Bethlehem. I’m sure Mary didn’t relish the idea of the journey, but she had no choice.
Before they entered the town gates, Mary and Joseph would have seen thousands of people milling about. People pushing and shoving as they tried to make their way to the registration center. Every inn was full. Finally, one innkeeper told them of a nearby manger (probably a cave) where they could lodge.
As Mary slouched in the foul-smelling hay and listened to the crowd shouting and pounding about on the outside, she delivered her firstborn child in Christmas silence. None were the wiser that she had birthed the long-awaited Messiah.
This year I seek Christmas silence. Not the impossibility of deliverance from all the noise associated with the season’s celebration, but silence in my heart that comes from knowing all is right with the world because the Savior is in control.
Amidst the noise of Christmas, ask Jesus to help you experience the silence of knowing all is well because our Savior reigns.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)