"A silent night
Shepherds watch their sheep
A picture of a tiny town asleep
All Heaven stands
The angels spread their wings . . ."
Take some time today to just stop.
Get alone and think the Christmas story from another angle, from another viewpoint if you will. Look at that Silent Night through the eyes of Heaven, and remember what His story really tells us . . .
The Roman empire had grown enough to allow the province of Judea to be ruled by a semi-independent ruler, Herod the Great. Politically, the Jews still fell under Roman rule.
Spiritually, however, the earth had been bound too long by this Silent Night. In fact, the silence was deafening! The fallen Dragon had painted a facade of sway over man and creation. Many lived in despair, and the hope for deliverance was fading.
A few still clung to the prophet Isaiah's writings, and prayed for the Messiah to come. The Scribes and Church leaders kept close tabs on royalty and the lineage of King David, looking for an overthrow of power; a conqueror. This seemed the logical place to look for the Messiah. King Herod himself was even watching . . .
They didn't really know what they were waiting for, and how could they? God always has plans that are bigger than our limited vision or assumption. They were looking for a conqueror over their current physical circumstance. God is more concerned about our eternal spiritual abundance. They were looking for an end to their earthly oppression. He came to bind the broken-hearted. They were looking for a new government. He was interested in freeing them completely.
That Silent Night seemed like any other dark, forsaken night. But there was something Holy coming . . .
Silence. Soft gusts of wind. The movement of the herd in a slow, relaxed churn. Low conversation. A campfire reflected off of a pair of shears. The creak of beams from the nearby holding pen. Stars shining in the Heavens, one noticeably brighter overhead. The shift of armor. A shepherd boy unfolds his evening meal from his leather pouch as the others discuss the day's events. Angels unfold their wings. Drowsy eyelids flutter to stay awake. Heaven stands to attention. As one, the sheep raise their heads, alert. The boy exhales as he thinks of what tomorrow brings. A solitary Angel inhales as the massive choir gathers above the flock . . .
Light! An immense stranger stands among them. Fear! Do not be afraid. Pronouncement! Good News! Singing! Glory to God in the Highest! Great Joy, for ALL people. He is born today!
As a sign, you'll find Him in the most unlikely place . . .
Not exactly the planned entrance that Church leadership of the day had predicted.
Not the palace.
No royal midwife.
No proclamation of an heir to an earthly, temporal throne.
Not the obvious . . . but in a manger.
A lowly manger.
A mother's physical pain.
A smelly, lowly home for beasts of burden.
A step-father's feeble attempts to comfort.
A mother's joy!
A baby's battle cry.
The facade of dark power begins to crack.
The War had changed. The King was here. In a split second, the tide had turned!
News of a virgin birth caused a deep shudder to go through the Kingdom of Lies.
Light had come, and the Silent Night was gone forever.
© Copyright Derek Hickman 2008