On a Silent Night

Christmas Eve Devotion for December 24, 2017
The Fourth  Sunday of Advent                                            

Read Luke 2:1-7

“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7

Ted Loder tells of visiting a ninety-four-year-old woman named Ann, who said to him, “I suppose that worship is supposed to bring us deeply together and heal us, make us strong and daring . . . Then she added, “And there’s that other part, about ‘without us, God will not.’ I love God for that . . . It makes life so exciting and full.”

Life certainly became full and exciting for Mary. But, I wonder if Mary was lonely that first Christmas Eve as she prepared to give birth to the Christ child.  There she was away from her family in that strange place without the support of people she has known all her life.  There must have been a sense of being so terribly alone.  Confined to a stable of all places with her infant child. Mary  must have wondered about the promises of the angel and why everything had become so difficult for her and Joseph. Indeed, she might well have questioned just what God was doing in all those complications. Scripture records nothing of her feelings. Only later do we read, that Mary “Ponders everything she hears in her heart.”

We too ponder the birth of Jesus. The words of Joseph Mohr’s “Silent Night, Holy Night” draw us to awe and wonder. Every Christmas Eve, when the lights dim and carols are sung, I’m drawn once more into the mystery of Christ’s coming in Bethlehem so long ago.   Near the end of the service when we sing the words, Silent Night, Holy Night my heart grows still with the power of love revealed in Jesus.  Today as you sing these words, may your own heart be warmed with God’s love.

“Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
’round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.”

“Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from Thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!”

Prayer: Loving God, Plant within us the courage that when we are challenged to reach beyond our comfort zones, when your dream grows inside our hearts and you call us to follow you, that we will trust you.    Give us  the inner strength to carry out your vision. Grant us grace to trust your wisdom in calling to us. Amen

Additional Advent & Christmastide Devotions can be found by clicking here:   Advent & Christmastide Devotions

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