blog - Faith Reflections
blog - A Pastor's Heart
From the archives of my newspaper columns
“Silent night, . . .” we sing. Ground zero for the Christmas story, the stable in Bethlehem, was undoubtedly a quiet place that special night.
There must have been the sounds every mother makes giving birth. There probably were awkward attempts at words of encouragement and comfort from the young carpenter, Joseph, who certainly felt more at home putting furniture together than putting the right words together. Then there were the soft and hesitant words of a few shepherds standing at the entry to the stable, trying to explain why they were paying a visit to the young family. It’s doubtful the angels’ anthem to the shepherds out on the hillside made it to the town limits of Bethlehem, let alone within the walls of the stable.
Then the shepherds were gone. (The wise men wouldn’t arrive for weeks.) Joseph and Mary would have discussed the shepherds’ visit after their departure, but then their soft conversation must have faded to the quiet of sleep. That was it, except perhaps for a late-night stirring of the family so Jesus could nurse.
No big hoopla. To most it was a usual busy night in Bethlehem during the census season. A young family sleeps, not in a four-star but a one-star inn. O little town of Bethlehem, you don’t have a clue!
God often still works this way — no big hoopla. He prompts a kind word from one person to another. He helps another to quietly forgive. Someone else feels called by God to do a small good deed that goes virtually unnoticed.
Silent was the night God worked His greatest miracle. Why should we expect attention and applause for the little miracles He does through us?
“So they [the shepherds] hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2:16
Check out my Christmas hymn, sung to the tune of Immortal, Invisible. It's called...