“Stand silent! Know that I am God!”
Psalm 46:10a (TLB)
The last strains of Silent Night fade away and the flickering flames of candles vanish one by one. Hesitant to break the hallowed moment, no one speaks as coats and belongings are gathered and owners shuffle past stained-glass windows and out into the night. Slipping on my gloves, I follow.
I step into the cold air, my boots muffled on snow-covered ground and my breath coming out in misty puffs. A slight breeze carries the heady scent of nearby pines as I move from the glowing lights of the little country church into the shadows of the parking lot. I glance up into the dark sky. Large, white snowflakes slowly drift down, falling silently on tree branches, earth, and gravel.
I know the first Christmas probably didn’t occur in the dead of winter. Surely, the clamor of travelers registering for the census created noisy chaos in the small town of Bethlehem. More than likely, animals crowded Mary, Joseph and her baby, Jesus, lying in a manger. But I can’t help but thinking there must have been a holy pause in the midst of it all, where heaven and earth stood silent for just a moment, in awe of God’s unfolding plan.
So I too, pause in the quiet and stand silent, in awe and wonder.
Author: Jill English Johnston
Father of Peace, quiet my heart, still my thoughts, and for this moment let me rest in the knowledge, You are God, Emmanuel.