DAY FOUR: SILENT NIGHT

Reflection

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Have you ever experienced something that took your breath away? Maybe you’ve seen the Grand Canyon or a beautiful sunrise over a vast ocean. Maybe you’ve witnessed the birth of a baby or the loss of a loved one. You’ll never forget how those moments made you feel.

For most of us, there aren’t many things that truly take our breath away.

We can imagine that was also true for the shepherds in the Christmas story. These were tough guys who slept outside exposed to the elements. These were guys who fought off bears and lions to protect their sheep. And let’s be honest; they probably didn’t smell great. These were guys who weren’t at the top of anybody’s “Invite List” for parties or dinner gatherings. But they had seen some things in their time and they were not easily startled. And then…

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

(Luke 2:9–11)

These men were fearless, but then there was this one night. This quiet… dare we say silent… night. We can imagine the sky was clear and the stars were shining and this group of shepherds was settling in for the night.

But God…

God sent an angel to tell these men that he was coming to live with them. God’s own Son would become flesh and live among his people as Emmanuel, God with us.

And then it wasn’t just one angel… it was a massive choir of angels, singing of God’s goodness and kindness to the world. He was giving us his Son!

In his wisdom, God didn’t choose to share his good news with kings and nobles. He didn’t look down the list and decide which VIPs should hear first… or did he?

It was intentional that God made his world-changing announcement to the lowliest of people. He was following his plan to flip the script on “life as usual.” He was telling the world that in his kingdom, we would all be equally welcome at his table. He had come to rescue all people everywhere, to mend what was broken and make a way to bring his people back to him.

It was a silent night. But the booming message of hope pierced through the silence and changed the whole world.

Maybe things aren’t going well and you feel like God is silent. Or maybe everything is going just fine. Christmas is a reminder that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, we’ve all been invited to experience the hope that Jesus brings.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending a message of hope that was for all people. When it seems like you’re silent, help me see that you’re near.

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Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia, Christ the Saviour is born! Christ the Saviour is born.

No in-person services on Sunday, May 26.

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