But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him! — Habakkuk 2:20
Maybe “Silent Night” will strike a chord on Christmas Eve, but lately, I’ve been all “Jingle Bells”.
The truth is, I have been avoiding silence.
I seek out music. Noise. Entertainment. Conversation. Even my own inner thoughts. I figure, if I just stay busy enough, distracted enough, I can ride the waves of activity all the way to January. And along the way I’ll do my best to Be Of Good Cheer.
Isn’t that enough?
No, it’s not. The truth is, I’m nervous. A little scared, even. There’s something there, in the quiet, that unsettles me.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth
Our full homage to demand.
That verse is from a 4th century Greek hymn, based on the line from Habakuk, above. This is a song that is sung during Advent. No Christmas trees. No cute little babies in a manger. This is a song about INCARNATION. God coming to Earth. It’s not something to be taken lightly.
It’s something so important, so overwhelming, that our response might involve fear and trembling!
We should behold. Pay homage. We should allow ourselves to be overwhelmed.
Stunned, in fact, to the point of silence.
That’s not easy for me.
The HUGENESS of God’s love for us requires a response of stunned silence. A sharp intake of breath. A deep pondering of what God-With-Us truly means.
For us to clutter up our Decembers with too much “jingling” means we might be drowning out the sound of Love’s divine invasion.
And what does that sound like?