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Silent Night?

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. The gleam and shine of all the decorations, the fun time with family and friends, and the often white blanket of snow are just some elements of Christmastime I enjoy. But one thing about Christmas I don't enjoy is the noise. So many people in stores, so much stress as people try and get that perfect gift for someone, just the noise that surrounds Christmas is overwhelming. People seem to forget that Christmas is a positive thing and get overwhelmed in the stress of it all.

All the noise of Christmas made me think of the very first Christmas night. It is often thought of like the songs: silent night, all is calm, all is bright.

But was it a truly silent night? I don’t think so. I've had a baby and watched women have babies, and it isn’t silent. There is quite a bit of noise. Some is due to pain! Some is due to the father of the child or the helpers present, helping encourage the mother along. There is a lot of noise that accompanies childbirth. But in the midst of all that noise, the one sound all parents are waiting for isn’t silence but rather a cry from their new baby. If it’s silent, you get worried.

You can be sure that Mary cried and shouted, grimaced and moved in pain, and pushed and breathed heavy that night. But then she heard what she was waiting for — not silence that night. She heard her baby boy cry out. No doubt it brought happy tears to her eyes as she beheld for the first time her son, and more as she gazed upon the incarnate face of the Creator God, the Messiah of the world.

That night when Jesus was born in human flesh, his cry upon breathing air and being birthed from his mother should be rejoiced over. That cry was the beginning of the amazing incarnational plan of salvation for you and I. If Jesus hadn’t cried and breathed the air of this earth, we would be looking at a terrible reality today. Jesus came in human flesh. He walked and talked and lived a life among human beings, His children. He did this because He loves us so much.

Through Jesus’ life, His mother was there to watch His ministry, to see His challenges and joys, and to love Him through it all. Thirty-there years after hearing His first cries, she wept as she watched Him be nailed to a tree. She cried out as she heard His final breaths. The noisy night in Bethlehem combined with the noisy night in Jerusalem show the Love of God in giving us salvation and freedom from sin.

I’m grateful this Christmas season for silent nights when the snow falls and you wake up because it’s so quiet outside. I’m grateful for time with family and friends and the chance to reflect on the year that is coming to a close. I’m grateful for my son who reminds me daily of the love that God has for us!

But most of all this Christmas season I’m grateful that over 2000 years ago a young mother pushed through the pain and then heard those sweat cries of a newborn child. I’m beyond grateful that God chose to come to this broken planet, live a life that was perfect because I can’t and, on another loud night, breathe His last as He died a death for my sins.

I am eternally grateful this Christmas season for two noisy nights!