Mondays — 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Silent night, holy night. The sound of old, familiar carols fill my heart and home with a peace beyond understanding. The story of redemption, marvelous redemption, unfolds in these timeless hymns.
As I listen, I am drawn back in time to a place far, far away. The streets of Bethlehem are dark, shopkeepers have closed their doors, extinguished the candles, laid their heads down to rest for the night.
The inns in the city are dark now, and quiet, as well. Yet a stable on the outskirts of town is stirring with life. Animals of all sorts are waiting, watching. Something strange is happening. A child, a human child, is about to be born here in this lowly barn. A very special child, a King.
A hush falls over the stable as He enters the world with a tiny cry.
Even the inhabitants of this dismal shelter are quiet and still. A brilliant star, never before seen, shines overhead, illuminating the dark night sky. The baby whimpers as His mother wraps Him in swaddling cloths, rocks Him to sleep then lays Him in a nearby feeding trough. A peculiar crib for a King. A faint shadow, the shadow of a cross, falls over the epitome of innocence and goodness, remaining till morning light. Did His young parents notice it or feel any foreboding of what may lie in store for their firstborn Son? I wonder.
Fast forward 2,000 plus years and the world still finds itself in turmoil, conflict and grief, as it had been in those ancient days.
Yet wise men still follow that star as they seek this holy child, their promised deliverer. Carols are sung in churches, homes, on city streets, in auditoriums and concert halls to honor Him. Gifts are exchanged among families and friends to celebrate this humble birth.
Soldiers have even been known to lay down their weapons on both sides of a great conflict for a brief time on Christmas Day to acknowledge this incredible birth and to pay homage to the Prince of Peace. The whole earth seems suspended in time.
“The One Who authors our faith is still on His throne and has not forgotten or abandoned His people. He is not slow as mortals count slowness. For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” -— Psalm 90:4 (ESV).
Our family was blessed a few days ago with the birth of a precious little girl, my fourth great-grandchild. What a joy in such a tiny little package. Pictures of this brand new little one demonstrate that she was fearfully and wonderfully knitted together in the secret place of her mother’s womb in the image of her Creator. Unique in every way, she was designed for a purpose. I am reminded through this birth that life is meant to continue. For life is sacred, so very sacred.
“Watch and wait, with joy in our hearts for the soon return of Him Whom we seek. Come quickly, LORD Jesus.” — Revelation 22:20.
As I reflect on the holiness of this season, my prayer is for peace on earth, good will to men. And in the words of Tiny Tim: God bless us all and Merry Christmas to each of you.
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