Ever since I became a mother, the words to "Silent Night" make me roll my eyes a little. Because let's be real, no nights are silent when there's a baby around. Much less a baby born in a barn to a mother in the throes of labor with pain undiluted by the marvels of modern medicine.
The third verse always stops me in my tracks. There's truth there, and it's astonishingly beautiful.
Listen to this:
"Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth."
He was a baby, but he wasn't any ordinary baby. He was God in the flesh, even as he lay in the manger. May the wonder and amazement of that shocking truth settle deep into our hearts today. That God himself would leave the halls of heaven to tuck in tight and wrap himself in the flesh of a tiny, helpless newborn baby. That we might see him. That we might know him. That we might love him. That we might bow before him.
Given the option between a life of ease and a life of suffering, I'll take the the easy road every time. Yes please to the good life. Hard pass on the hardship. But Jesus isn't like me. He knew what was to come, and he walked toward it with eyes and arms wide open.
Here lately, every time I hear the familiar chords of an old hymn at church, tears prick my eyes, and it's a real struggle not to ugly cry in the middle of the sanctuary. It's the darnedest thing. Given the sidelong glances she gives me every time it happens, I'm pretty sure that our youngest daughter is seriously worried about me.