(Not So) Silent Night

"When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart." Luke 2:15-19

Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.

I’ve never had a baby of my own, but I have certainly heard enough birth stories to know when a baby is being born, there isn’t a whole lot of calm and bright as a woman progresses through labor. I can’t imagine it was any different for Mary, still a young girl when her water broke. Well, okay, maybe it was different. Instead of a hospital room with cable TV, Mary’s birthing suite included a bed of hay, mooing cows, bleating sheep, and clucking chickens. When Jesus entered the world, drew his first breath, and let out a loud wail, he added his own noise to the already chaotic stable.

Then, company dropped by. I can’t help but wonder if Mary wished she had time to brush her hair, muck the stables, or prepare cookies before the shepherds dropped in unexpectedly. After all, she was a woman who had just given birth to the Savior of the world. I’m sure she wanted to do something special to honor this momentous day.

Sounds kind of like us, doesn’t it? During the Christmas season we may feel the need to buy a new outfit, paint the walls a new color, or whip up a fancy meal. After all, we are women who are celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world. We want to do something special to honor this holy day. Wanting to do those things isn’t bad. But our intent behind them is what counts.

So what if we take a cue from Mary this Advent? Let’s pause to treasure and ponder Jesus. Before we race around and tackle the to-do list, let’s embrace our Jesus wholeheartedly and remember the miracle of his birth and what it means for us.

Because really? While the events on the night of Jesus’s birth probably were chaotic and more than likely it wasn’t really a silent night, I truly do believe all was calm and all was bright. Maybe there wasn’t much calm from the outside looking in that first Christmas. But for Mary, it was calm and bright because she made room in her heart for the miracle of what had occurred. She embraced the holiness of this special night, and she let it move her during her whole life as she pondered her amazing son.

This same calm and bright is yours for the taking this Advent, too. Embrace the holiness of this special night, the night when our Jesus was born, and let it move you during your whole Christmas season as you ponder your amazing savior.