Our Christmas tree rotates, and I love it.
I can turn the house lights off, sit in my recliner, and watch it gently turn. Decorations dangle and lights twinkle. It’s beautiful.
My habit is to wake up every morning around 1:45 and make a lap around the upstairs interior. I call it my prayer pacing. The house is quiet—nothing makes a sound—but as I walk through the hallway, I see reflections of glistening ornaments on the ceiling.
I stopped and leaned over the upstairs railing, gazing down at the tree as it spun gently. Before me were memories of times past. Family, friends, prayer stars, one tiny handmade ornament given to me by a friend, and a baby Jesus—wrapped in burlap, sleeping and snuggled tight. As the baby Jesus’ shadow passed by, I suddenly found myself...touched.
I can’t say it was a silent night when Mary gave birth. She did it in some makeshift-type barn, either a lean-to-type shed or perhaps a burrowed-out cave in the side of a hill. I’m sure it was noisy. After all, childbirth in and of itself is not silent. And with animals around, I doubt there was little peace for the child or mother either. I can’t begin to imagine the cleanliness factor.
Yet, in all His wisdom, God came to earth in the vilest of positions—an infant. An innocent, dependent, needy, human infant. It could have been so much more, but God chose the commoner, the poor, and the simple to place His Son among so that He would experience the fullness of humanity instead of the entitled.
There was little quiet in the life of Christ except for the moments He separated Himself from others to pray. Imagine the noise in His head. The sounds of humanity ripping at His soul. I imagine the only peace He truly felt was the moments after His death when His lungs sighed out the last push of air and His voice stilled. At that moment, when His earthly life ended and His spiritual transition happened, I wonder...was it silent? Did He have peace?
Christmas is such a sweet time to remember Christ. To imagine His momma, a child herself, holding Him tightly. And His earthly father, still a bit stunned at the birth, stepped up to love and raise a child that was not his by nature. So much happened that year. We’ve crammed it all into one night, but it was more than a night. It was a beginning to an end.
I made my way down the stairs to the tree, and when the child passed by, I gave him a little kiss. Sleep in peace wee one, for I am grateful for your birth, your plight, and your moment of silence.
May you find peace in the Christ-child.
(Photo courtesy of the author.)
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