Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm all is bright How silent was the night, really?
Luke 2:1-3 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken in the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
The scene that unfolds in my mind is that of a downtown festival such as a Fourth of July celebration. I visualize droves of people milling around, merchants rubbing their hands together in anticipation of an unexpected cash windfall. Come to think of it, the Christmas scene hasn't changed much.
Yet on this night that hummed with people, noise and activity, just off the beaten path, behind the bustling Inn, a young girl is giving birth to her first child assisted not by the capable hands of her mother or elder woman from the village but by the strong yet trembling hands of her young husband. Under the glow of an unprecedented star, there in the whirl of life, God slipped in quietly, unnoticed by the crowd and brought the miracle of salvation.
We are keepers of that story. The story is ours alone to tell. The challenge is; will we be a messenger of joy or will we carry the message safely hidden in a lock box as we mill through the crowd in search of a lesser gift, a lesser reason to celebrate? Will we rejoice with true joy? Will we dare to unwrap this precious gift and share it with the crowd? Will we be mute when it comes to the miracle of Christ's birth and life changing power or will we be a reflection of that miraculous gift shining on a dark and hopeless people like the star sent so many years ago?
Once again this year, the choice is new and fresh as a new born babe lying in a manger. This year is it possible for us to stand in the crowd and point heavenward? Will we remind people of the reason that we rejoice? Maybe, we can say to just one person,
"Would you like to see the Savior? May, I show you the reason for my joy? Come see the babe in the manger. He is the one you have been looking for! He is the one magnificent reason to rejoice!" and maybe, all of heaven's host will celebrate another birth this Christmas, a rebirth of one who heard the story for the first time this year. Shout for joy all the world! Go tell it on the mountain, in the work place or in the check out line but whatever you do keepers of the message tell it!
Darlene is a writer who travels with her husband, Mark across rural United States as he builds power plants.