Stillness and quiet and just far away enough that the echoing cries of pain from a girl in labor don’t reach the ears of those just inside the town.
A completely unextraordinary night. A completely regular, no-one-knew-this-was-breaking-400-years-of-silence kind of night. A still night, a calm night, a shepherds-only-knew night. Nothing at all important as far as the eye could see. Small town, shamed people, dirty stable. All remarkably unimportant.
But there in the silent stillness–in the first breath of a baby who seemed quiet ordinary, 400 years of asking, “When will the God of Israel move and speak again?” were finally answered. Angels shouting, “Glory!” and Heaven whispering, “Holy.” Because this baby, this God wrapped in flesh, made the ultimate sacrifice in wearing our dirty, broken, humanness all the way from a woman’s womb to a manger bed to a cross.
What an ordinary way to do the most extraordinary thing that will ever take place from Eternity Past into Forever. For unto us a child is born, in the most ordinary of ways to the most ordinary of people in the most ordinary of towns. And He will save His people from their sins–the whole world will know the name of this little baby boy. Because He is far beyond anything for which we could have hoped or dreamed.
This little baby, this little manger, this little family, this one night, forever marked by the audacity of a Father who loves us so radically and recklessly it is unfathomable, changed the course of Eternity for everyone everywhere.
We will sit down and unwrap gifts this season–sweet little surprises and gestures of I love you all packaged up with bows, ribbons, and wrapping. And I hope, that as we sit to unwrap the tangible, right now gifts, that we would be so overwhelmed with the reminder of the only gift that matters at all. Would we be reminded that God With Us has come–He’s here, He’s waiting, and He’s extending His hand of grace ever so kindly to our weak, weary, wayward souls.
For unto us a child is born, Jesus the Messiah, and this Good News cannot be quieted.
Merry Christmas Eve.