“Silent night, holy night.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild…”
This year my thoughts on Christmas took an unexpected turn towards the word “Silent”.
This year I was honored to be present for the birth of my dear friend Christa’s baby. Present and documenting, what will be remembered as one of the most crazy and amazing miracles I have ever witnessed. Shooting the birth story of baby Vivian rustled up thoughts of the lyrics above. Mainly because this night, the night of baby Vivian’s birth, was anything but silent.
Many of us have read the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke and fascinating enough not much is said about the actual birth of Jesus. Only two verses mention it to be exact. “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them”. Luke 2:6-7. I have read these verses and immediately jumped to the “silent night” that followed. Again drawing our minds to images of a sweet sleeping baby (in a far too clean to be real stable).
Today though I draw your mind to the hours before.
To the actual birth that took place in a stable.
Not the silent night but the struggle, the labor and the miracle of our Lord being born of a young girl named Mary.
Ever think of Mary having contractions?
Of this young married couple navigating this unknown process in the dank shelter of a barn?
Of Joseph, in joyful and anxious anticipation, attempting to sooth his young bride as her pain builds.
It was a Holy Night.
It was also a painful one.
After witnessing “Labor” I am convinced this word nowhere near encompasses what happens during birth. Something is lost in translation.
Did you know we get this word from Genesis when man and women are cursed to “toil”. (Genesis 3:16-17). The word ETSEB (from atsab) is the same word used to describe Adam as well as Eve’s punishment.
It describes a toil, an extreme physical labor, one of blood sweat and tears.
I was not there but I am guessing Mary made some crazy noises as her body stretched to deliver a child.
To birth a baby, a Lord, our King.
Anything but silent.
Mary, like all mothers, toiled with blood sweat and tears to birth her baby.
The coming of our Lord.
The most miraculous mix of Heaven meeting earth that ever was.
And when the pain was to much to bear.
When Mary had spent all she had and emptied herself of all of her energy.
Toiling through this not so silent night…..
Delivered into the arms of a mom and dad whose hearts cannot contain their affection.
Life came and remains.
This beautiful God child.
All toil is forgotten. All pain disappears in the shadow of infant cries.
Heaven meets earth.
This precious gift.
A gift of life for all.
He was this tiny.
He was this helpless.
My heart cries Holy Holy Holy is the lamb.
Sweet birth of our King. The only Lord who can fully relate, fully understand.
Fully BE with us.
Mary labored, He came.
A not so silent night.
“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger” Luke 2:7
Then the silence came.
As Jesus slept, unaware of any purpose but to eat, sleep and be.
They came to worship; shepherds and angels alike.
Again a meeting of heaven and earth came together to worship and adore this young life that would be life for all.
And Mary…” She treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart”.
This Christmas my deepest prayer is that we ponder, we wonder, we settle the memory of this not so silent night deep in our hearts. That we rejoice at how Heaven met earth in this most human way.
How on this day life was fought for.
Labored for in a not so silent way.
Today Life came.
Today Life stays.
Merry Christmas to all.