Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
What do you hear this Christmas season? There is the beautiful Christmas carols and music, bells ringing on street corners, joyful children sharing their lists, and pleasant conversations around special meals and celebrations. Maybe it’s the opening and closing of a cashier drawer or a click of computer keys. Could it be car horns blaring as parking spaces are fought over, short-tempered shoppers, exhausted employees, or even tired cries of a young child? But do you hear what I hear?
Let’s stop and go back to that very first Christmas, or should I say the night our Savior was born. May we examine and see if what we hear is anything reminiscent of what was heard that night. What did those who were there hear?
Luke describes a quiet, still night with sheep nestled down while shepherds kept guard. Can you almost sense the calm peace descending along with the darkness– then suddenly LIGHT breaks through coupled with an angelic birth announcement piercing the night! More angelic voices join in proclaiming glory to God unable to contain the great joy abounding and overflowing from their very beings. It is finally time- the long period of silence and waiting is over – God is not only speaking again but sending His Son to earth. Emmanuel – God with us!
How did those involved respond? The shepherds’ fear turned quickly into action – let us now go and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. The shepherds hurry to Mary and Joseph finding baby Jesus just as the angel had said. Shepherds shared what the Lord had made known to them. In turn, those who heard were surprised and marveled. Meanwhile, Mary kept thinking, wondering, and weighing the words in her heart. The shepherds left praising and glorifying God.
That is then – this is now. How will we respond? What do you hear? Is it possible that Christmas has deafened your ears? Take time to soak in the stillness, to drink deeply of the quiet and calm of that special night. The coziness of this season beckons you with a warm invitation to come, sit awhile, and listen. Listen for God’s voice to interrupt all your activities, calling you to “Come and Sit” then truly see that He has come and commands you to “Go and Tell”. Our world and our grandchildren need to hear and embrace these good tidings of great joy.
What will they hear this Christmas season? May they hear you share the good news of great joy – a Savior has been born. May your attitude and words not speak of no room, a message that has echoed down through the ages. Instead, let your attitude and words shout like that of the shepherds who could not help but praise and glorify God. In turn, may they respond like the shepherds thanking and worshipping God for so amazing a gift.
Think of things you can do, to bring about a time of quiet reflection with your grandchildren. Maybe talk about what it would have been like that night so long ago if they had been a shepherd, an angel, part of the heavenly army, Mary, and Joseph. Draw a picture or act out the scene to bring it to life.
Spend time hearing the story again for the first time. Against the backdrop of Christmas music, holly jolly Santa’s, ringing bells, coins clanking in steel red buckets, and Merry Christmas greetings – stop and listen. Max Lucado says, “God goes to those who have time to hear Him – and so on this cloudless night He went to simple shepherds.” What do you hear? How will you respond?
The Lord has spoken – He has entered – He is with us – He is still speaking – He will hear us! Are you listening! Do you hear what I hear? Do your grandchildren hear what you hear?
But I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
– Micah 7:7