Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It wasn't very quiet after all ...

This Christmas Eve, at many candlelight Communion services, it will become very still while many are moved deeply as they listen to someone sing, "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright ..."

But it wasn't quite so quiet that very first Christmas night.

As the Word became flesh (John 1:14), an angel just had to tell someone. The angel proclaimed the grand wonder of the birth of Christ to shepherds. Heaven became so excited by the angel's proclamation that the armies of God burst out in praise! Just look how loud that first Christmas was, as described in Luke 2:

"8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. 'Don’t be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."

"13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

"14 Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

From that time forward, many would be so moved by Christ they simply would have to tell others. We see it in Acts 4, as Peter and John are warned to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. Their response to the religious leaders is recorded in verses 19 and 20:

"19 But Peter and John replied, 'Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard'."

When we see what God has done in the giving of His Son as a Savior for the world, we are compelled to tell others of such immeasurable love and grace, and it moves us not to silence but to loud praise and rejoicing!

Is this how you share Christmas ... by telling others of God's gift of His Son? As you consider Christmas, does it stir you to rejoicing and praising God? Or is it just another silent, calm night?


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