Silence is the sound of Advent
Remember the God who dwelled
in the silence of the womb
for nine months
A divine mystery silently unfolding
This is one of my favorite times of year. Night draws close early in the evening, reminding us to slow down, go home, and rest. The lights on the Christmas tree cast a tranquil glow in the living room, and the soft scent of the pine conjures memories of Christmas past. The Nativity, still with an empty manger, stands witness to the anticipation of a baby’s birth.
Though all was not calm and bright in the months leading up to Jesus’ birth – not for Mary, not for Joseph, not for the Jewish people. Roman politics were ramping up and a census was called, whisperings were snaking around Nazareth about Mary’s scandalous pregnancy, and the Zealots were training for the impending overthrow of the Roman empire under the Messiah’s leadership.
Inside Mary’s womb, though, the mystery of Jesus’ incarnation as fully human and fully divine was happening in secret and quiet. The beat of Mary’s heart thrumming a constant rhythm, the muted sounds of the outside world, Joseph’s voice of wonder as he addressed the tiny being within the woman he loved were the only sounds breaking the sacred silence of creation.
God works within the stillness of a Silent Night. God speaks in the whisper of a calming exhale. It is tempting to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season, but God reminds us that Advent is for Sabbath and waiting. Night falls early, and we quietly wait for the dawn. A chill strips the foliage, and we hopefully wait for Spring. A manger sits empty in a faraway Inn, and we wait for an unexpected Salvation from an unlikely Savior. Have we quieted our hearts enough to hear it?