Have you had any this Christmas season? It can be hard to come by silence. I crave it when I have been too long without. I think most people do but sometimes they don’t know that silence is what they need. There is so much noise and activity. Every electronic device is ready to issue a quick, seemingly unobtrusive sound at the slightest pretext, gumming up our lives with rings, beeps, meaningless noise that we place so much meaning on. But quiet can be difficult to find. I always expect the Christmas season to slow life down so the magic can descend; so that when the word ‘Immanuel’ is spoken it creates a hush in the room. God with us.
I am enjoying a bit of silence now. Now that the dozens and dozens of cafe cookies are baked for everyone’s holiday parties, now that the mad dash for last minute presents and wrapping paper has been made and the late night stuffing of stockings has been completed. Christmas morning has come and gone, leaving in its wake the havoc of torn wrapping paper and a little grey kitten roaming around, batting at ornaments, waiting for a name.
It is possible to have the silence in the midst of the noise and bustle. Looking back now, I did have silence in little wisps and whispers throughout my days. It took the shape of a prayer or a question; it felt at times like spirit worship or a small, blonde curl tickling my nose. I held a little baby sleeping on my chest, his arm curled around my shoulder, unaware of the lists and the jingling bells.
In my heart now I have a vision of Jesus, a fragile, human child, waiting in quiet stillness. He has already had his Christmas, as well. He came into this world through the stretching bones of a woman’s body. He came into the the smell of livestock and hay; witnessed the shepherds arrival and departure, their coarse, freshly learned worship echoing in his ears. Now it’s quiet again as we all sit waiting for epiphany. A revelation yet to come; a bright light still being followed. We have God with us as never before, in human form. Soon we will also have Christ, the Messiah. Light of the world. Together with all the earth we will once again receive the promise: the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.