A Typical Night
The Christmas season is upon us. I’m annually reluctant to “get into the Christmas Spirit;” however, I wouldn’t consider myself a scrooge. God has a way of guiding my mindset into the significance of Christ’s birth in His own time. The tipping point usually involves a different catalyst each year. In years past, sermons, devotions, concerts, songs and conversations have all served to bring advent into my own personal reality.
This year that catalyst was a song from Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God record. Jill Phillips is the talented vocalist, and the first line of the song was the tipping point. The lyrics made me think, as Peterson lyrics often do. The CD went in and when the track came on I heard, “It was not a silent night.” Those words reverberated in my soul. Obviously, I held this in immediate contrast with the traditional Christmas carol that is likely coming to the forefront of your mind as well. This meritted some consideration, prayer and study.
Was the night of Christ’s birth a silent night? There is no biblical indication that the world paused as Christ was born. Given the passages that specify a disregard for Christ, I find it more likely that He arrived on a typical night. There were hurried travelers, weary miles and idolatrous men. The clamor of the street and livestock could undoubtedly be heard.
However, the first coming of Christ was never meant to produce a global silence.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Christ was born into obscurity through humility. Therefore, He is forever exalted and confessed as Lord, to the glory of the Father. It was a typical night with an eternally atypical impact.
Take a few minutes to read through the lyrics and watch the video. Perhaps this will be your advent tipping point as well.
Labor of Love by Andrew Peterson
It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town
And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold
It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love”