My preference for celebrating the Birth of Jesus is to seek quiet moments to contemplate the mystery of God’s redeeming love for me. To remember all the beautiful Christmas carols and hymns that echo that kind of feeling. Noise bothers me—life is filled with too much of it—so Christmas can offer a respite from that irksome aspect of life today.
But then I remember how, in the middle of shepherds’ calm night of guarding sleeping sheep, a “heavenly host” suddenly appeared. All of them singing, no doubt loudly. Their song was one part praise—“Glory to God”—and one part tranquil —“Peace on Earth.” But let’s be realistic here: Whatever they’re singing, it’s hard for a crowd of that size not to crank up the decibels and shatter the night with sound. (Side note: Now awakened, could the sheep themselves have added to the clamor with their confused bleating?)
So much for my theology of “serene contemplation regarding the Nativity”, hmm? If I had been there for that acoustically overwhelming greeting card—“Hello, world! Big news!”—I may have reacted just like those pastoral stewards. In a word: WOW! In several words: THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! or WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING!
So maybe this year at Christmas Eve services, I can set aside my need for a quiet observance and sing myself nearly hoarse. (“Glory to God” should be enough to take care of WOW!) The heavenly host will have invited me again to exult and praise and raise a ruckus about God’s love.
The same invitation comes your way: Join the unbelievably massive crowd of angels—and God’s people—in making holy noise about our salvation come to Earth!
We’ll have time for hushed contemplation soon enough….
(To receive these entries when they are posted, go to the upper right-hand corner of the top banner and click on the three dots or parallel lines. Scroll down to the subscription form and enter your information.)