Saturday, December 24, 2011

Silent Night . . .

Luke 1:78-79
"Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

Silent night, holy night . . .

The family Christmas Eve service is anything but silent. Children, excited beyond measure about tomorrow, laugh and shout, talk and sing, with unfettered glee. The atmosphere is charged with joy.

All is calm, all is bright . . .

Calm? Anything, but.

Bright? Oh, yes! All those shining eyes and rosy cheeks of cherubic faces everywhere I turn. My heart is floating on air . . .

'Round yon virgin, mother and child . . .

A baby is wailing. Another chimes in. Their cries crescendo, then fade as mothers beat a hasty retreat from nave to narthex.

Holy infant so tender and mild . . .

Next to me, a young father cradles his infant daughter. She is dressed for the season in a red velveteen and lace dress, tights, and the tiniest Mary Jane shoes I've ever seen. Fast asleep, she is oblivious to all the commotion around her.

Sleep in heavenly peace . . .

The service is drawing to a close. The ushers who give us candles with our bulletins as we enter the church now travel the pews to light the ones of the persons sitting at the end.

They, in turn, light the candle of the person beside them.

And, so the light travels down the pew, from one to another.

As the candlelight spreads, the lights are dimmed. Even the children grow hushed, expectant, entranced by the glow of countless tiny flames.

Softly, reverently, the organ notes fill the air . . .

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright . . .

The candle flame blurs before my eyes. I can't stop the tears.

Tears of joy. Of wonder. Of awe.

Of thanksgiving.

I'm too choked up to sing with my voice, but my heart is singing with the angels in heaven.

Christ, the Savior, is born. Christ, the Savior, is born.

May the peace of God be with you this glorious Christmas Eve and always!

Readings
Psalms 45, 46
Isaiah 35:1-10
Revelation 22:12-17, 21
Luke 1:67-80

8 comments:

  1. This was so beautiful to read Martha. Your devotion and heart towards God is so pure...It's inspiring. :) I pray you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

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  2. Have a wonderful Christmas Martha. I pray that the New Year brings you joy, happiness and health :)

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  3. Beautiful -- I felt like I was right there with you! You make me misty, Martha! Merry Christmas!! XO

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  4. Thank you, Jessica, Mary, and Linda, for stopping by on this glorious Christmas Eve!
    @Jessica - Thank you for the sweet compliment; so glad you liked today's post! May your Christmas be blessed as well!
    @Mary - Thank you, we will certainly enjoy the day. Hope you have a glorious Christmas and a blessed new year!
    @Linda - I have to admit, I, too, got misty in writing this - such awesome memories . . . A merry and blessed Christmas to you, too!

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  5. Beautiful post Martha...
    Somehow, not only for Christmas,
    But all the long year through,
    The joy that you give to others,
    Is the joy that comes back to you.

    And the more you spend in blessing,
    The poor and lonely and sad,
    The more of your heart's possessing,
    Returns to you glad.
    Wishing you Merry Christmas..and may God bless u always.

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  6. Hi, Alpana! Thanks for dropping in.

    What a wonderful poem of blessing this is! I am honored to receive it . . .

    Merry Christmas and God's blessings to you, too!

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  7. HEY THERE!
    This is like being there with you at the service! Almost LIVE blogging!! :-))

    Glory to the Father, through Christ the Lord, amen.

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  8. So glad you liked this, Bernie. It's taken from many past memories, but it was amazing how this year's family service reflected so much of what I wrote here.
    All glory to Him - Yes!
    Blessings, my brother!

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