Silent Night: The Plans and Purposes of God

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Silent Night: The Plans and Purposes of God

A silent night. We take too little time all year to contemplate the gift of the Christ Child at Christmas or the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Easter. Jesus came into the world and left with little fanfare, yet no two events have had greater impact on mankind. Please join me in recognizing the gift of God on that silent night 2000 years ago and the coming of the Christ Child.

2MefromHim Devotionals

Silent Night

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2

On a silent night, the Savior of the world came into a world of chaos.

Mary knelt, trembling in fear before the shining angel, Gabriel. He reassured her, revealing that she was the chosen of God. The conception of the God’s Son by the Holy Spirit was private, a sacred moment between a young woman of faith and her God.

Mary informed Joseph, her betrothed, of her pregnancy in privacy. Matthew tells us Joseph “had in mind to divorce her quietly”, but on a silent night, Gabriel changed his plans in a dream. Since a betrothal was as binding as marriage, Mary and Joseph started their marriage quietly. The young couple were probably whispered about behind their backs for failing to wait for the wedding. They remained silent about the truth regarding their child.

When Mary’s time was near, they traveled to Bethlehem, the city of Joseph’s ancestors, the City of David. It was not a silent place. Every inn and home was full. However, the the bustling crowds were unaware that in a dimly lit stable, a young woman labored to bear a child who would change the world forever.

On a silent hillside outside Bethlehem, a choir of angels announced the Messiah’s birth to poor shepherds, watching their flocks. They hurried to worship the newborn King, but no one followed. They offered their worship and then spread the word, but we have no record of people flocking to the stable. There was no excitement or uproar about the birth of the long-expected Christ child. Most of the world didn’t know or care. He came in silence.

Simeon and the prophetess, Anna, recognized the Child, but no great excitement rocked the temple when Jesus’ parents took him to be consecrated to the Lord. And Mary held all these memories in her heart, silent about the true nature of her son.

When Jesus was at least a year old, Magi from the east visited King Herod in Jerusalem, thinking he surely must know of the birth of a king so long foretold in prophecy. Sensing his dangerous motives, they worshiped the child and went home quietly, another way. King Herod, a power-hungry man, suspicious of everyone killed every child under the age of two, hoping to destroy a threat to his reign. The families wept, but Joseph, warned by an angel on another silent night, secreted Mary and the child away to Egypt in anonymity.

The return of the little family to Nazareth created no excitement. Jesus grew up as any other child, helping in his father’s carpenter shop and going to the synagogue. He baffled the Jewish religious leaders with his knowledge the age of 12, but returned home and worked as a carpenter until his ministry began at age 33.

Jesus’ pubic ministry lasted only three years. He attracted the notice of the Jewish leaders for drawing crowds, healing the sick, and disregarding their man-made laws. When they succeeded in crucifying him, it had little impact outside the small area of Judea. He made no great announcement as he died, no great proclamations about their mistake, or threats of godly retribution. The Messiah died as he lived, recognized by few and for all appearances with little impact.

Even today, Jesus does not enter people’s lives with fanfare but waits to be invited. As the Magi brought him gifts, he offers his followers the gifts of love, salvation, and eternal life. Jesus’ greatest desire for Christmas is not that we give material gifts, but that we receive the mercy and truth of his life, the hope of his love, and the peace of his Spirit.

May your Christmas be filled with the message and truth of Jesus Christ. Take time this Christmas to be silent and contemplate his coming and significance in prayer and thanks. Witness with gentleness and love to those around you of the hope of Christmas in a world filled with strife.

© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, December 18, 2016

About the author:

Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

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