Silent Night, Holy Night

Cloth for the Cradle

It’s a busy time of year. There’s a lot to do. There are parties to attend. There are gifts to purchase. There are Christmas Plays to see. There are worship services to attend. There are friends and family to visit. There are decorations to put into place. And there’s lots of food to eat.

It always strikes me how this time of year tends to sneak up on us. It’s always there on the calendar, but its arrival seems too soon and too fast. Wasn’t it just Halloween? Didn’t we just eat hot dogs on the fourth of July? How did Christmas get here so fast?

In the midst of all the things to do, in the midst of our crazy, greedy, violent and broken world there is a need for God’s presence. There is a need for the incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us. There is a need for a reminder that God is still moving and takes big risks to save us from ourselves-even the big risk on Christmas Eve. God comes to us from Mary’s womb as a tiny baby sleeping in a feeding trough for animals. Baby Jesus is vulnerable, powerless, and adorably cute. But it’s this vulnerable, powerless, and adorably cute baby that is the hope for the world.

When we sing the Christmas Carol, Silent Night, Holy Night, we are reminded that on Christmas Eve Jesus is born and all the world notices that something is different. Something has happened. It’s as if the world stops for a moment to recognize the birth of Jesus. It’s a still, small moment of calm peace. It’s a moment for the whole world to realize that God is still moving, God still loves us, and there is hope yet for our broken world and broken humanity.

May we all have multiple moments this Advent season when we realize that God is still moving, God still loves us, and there is hope for us yet. Jesus is coming. Jesus, God with us, Emmanuel, will bring God’s love face to face to us yet again this year.