So Silently the Light CameO little town of Bethlehem*, How still we see thee lie!Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee to-night.
Why wasn’t there more of a commotion? Why didn’t the earth shake? Why didn’t the sky split with his entrance? Why did no one know what was happening except for a few people: Joseph, the husband of the wife who was pregnant with a child that wasn’t his. Mary, who knew what was happening but had spent nine months in amazed wonder that she would be chosen to bear the very son of God. The wisemen who were aware that a king had been born, and the few shepherds who watched in amazement as angelic beings filled their night sky with of good news and praise.
The everlasting light shone in their streets that night and still shines in our dark streets, as we are asleep in our beds this Christmas Eve. There is no place where that light doesn’t shine, even in the darkest hole.
How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given;So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heaven.No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
So silently, so silently, this heavenly being came to earth. Without fanfare, the creator of all slipped into our world to give his life a ransom. Unaware that prophecy was being fulfilled that night in their town of Bethlehem, the people slept on.
Did anyone step outside their home or go up to their flat roof for a breath of fresh air that night so long ago? Did anyone else hear the heavenly praise? Maybe some saw and wondered what it meant.
There were no trumpet blasts from heaven announcing the coming of the Son of God. And through his life and ministry very few recognized him as anything more than a troublemaker. He was not who they wanted. No, they were looking for a conqueror to free them from Roman rule and make their nation great once again. But, he had a higher mission. One that had eternal value. He came quietly into this world to give his life a ransom, to pay the sin debt, and reconcile us to God.
Though physical ears couldn’t hear his coming, those who recognized they were poor in spirit welcomed him into their lives. The ten lepers recognized him. The Roman centurion recognized him. Jesus’ cousin recognized him. His few disciples knew him. The woman caught in adultery knew who he was.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray!Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell;O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
Isaiah tells us, “All we like sheep have gone astray”. (Isaiah 53:6 NKJV) Let’s turn from our ways, recognize we are poor in spirit and humbly invite him into our lives. Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again to see the kingdom. Let us pray this Christmas season that God would cause us to be born again from above with his life in us making us a new creation.
This Christmas let us know why he came and be among those who welcome him into their lives as Lord and Savior. Will you pray with me the following? “Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Cleanse me from my sinful nature. Be born in me today.”
“Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today...O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel.”
*O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks, 1868