Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night

This is by far the simplest Christmas I have yet to experience. This year, it’s just me—me and millions of stars. As I was walking back from church tonight, it seemed as though the entire glistening world was holding its breath. Each snowflake was just waiting for the glistening heavens to burst into song. The very creation was waiting expectantly for… Christmas!

Tonight, I could hear nothing except the crunch of snow and ice under my shoes. Even now, the only sound is from the keys as I type. The whole world has gone quiet as it waits. For me, this Christmas isn’t about December 25, 2010, or even the first Christmas, over 2000 years ago: it’s about the future Christmas.

The first Christmas fulfilled an age-old promise. Every Christmas since has been a reminder that there's still one more promise left. The angels reminded the shepherds of that God was keeping His covenant when they split open the night sky with a glimpse of eternity, proclaiming the birth of a Savior. Not just any savior, but one who would fulfill every impossible provision ever made for a world who refused to welcome him.

One of the problems of Christmas is that we have tried to make it what we want, what we think it should be. We buy and decorate and bake and plan and give in an effort to have everything more perfect. What we fail to realize in our human stupidity is that Christmas is perfect as it is. The essence of pure love contained in the ancient story doesn’t need any help from tinsel or Bing Crosby.

Christmas and its Christ give hope for the future. Because there was a baby Jesus, we know that there will one day be a king Jesus. Once again, the sky will be a blaze of glory at His return. When that day comes, everyone will finally fully comprehend the truths they have been mindlessly singing in the old, familiar carols. We’ll join the angelic choir which first heralded his arrival and it will be a song to put the Hallelujah Chorus to shame!

I can’t wait for that day! For tonight, however, everything is quiet. Tomorrow is Christmas day. Small children will be squealing over their new toys and families will be gathering to feast. I will be trying to forget about what’s not under the tree and who’s not here. No need to hang a stocking tonight, because I don’t even have a chimney. This silent night that harkens back through history is enough of a miracle for me.

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