Silent Night, Holy Night

 

Away

In the Christian calendar, Christmas is of secondary importance when compared to Easter; although the former brings us the Word made Flesh, the latter brings us eternal life. As our society here in the West sees little in either of these concepts, it tends to focus upon Christmas, because it is a time of the year when merchants can move much merchandise; let there be a celebration of all the wealth we have; that is a temptation to which only a rich society can succumb.

But that first Christmas Eve was not given to the rich, the powerful and the elite; it was given to the poor, the marginalised and the ordinary. There was nothing special about Joseph or Mary in human terms. Joseph probably got a decent living from his hands, but it is unlikely that his house was anything special; and Mary, well, a young girl with child is, to any decent society, and object of love and sympathy, but nowadays someone would be telling her she was too young and should be considering her career, and pointing her to ‘Planned Parenthood’. These were simple people.

God could have chosen anyone for His purposes, but He chose these people. we cannot know why, except to know that they were obedient to Him; they did not question His will, they did not argue or suggest they knew better; in them the self-will of our first parents burnt low. Joseph did what men through countless ages have done. He earned his living by the sweat of his brow and he looked after his family. He does not seem to have made a great fuss about things, and even when he discovered that his betrothed was pregnant and he was not the father, being a righteous man, he was minded not to have her stoned, but just to set her aside; sadness rather than wrath seems to have been his reaction; and he believed what he was told in his vision. Upright, straightforward, Joseph did his duty, and that first Christmas Eve it involved making sure there was somewhere for the baby to be born where his betrothed and the child could be sheltered; the primeval task of all men.

Mary we know more of. She was satisfied with the hardest thing – obedience to the will of God. No mind that it opened her to the charge that she was pregnant by another man; God would take care of it; and He did. No mind that her Son went off to His dangerous Mission; God would take care of it; and He did. Even at the foot of the Cross, her faith remained constant, and she was there at the first Pentecost. On that first Holy Night she was vulnerable as all women are in child-birth. No doubt the journey had been hard on her, and she had leaned on Joseph, who had also had to find her somewhere to stay; she depended on others, and she trusted in her man and in God; they did not let her down. She trusted in her Son, and He did not let her down either. She had faith, bit not a blind one, for we are told she ‘pondered these things in her heart’.

So, on this Christmas Eve, as we go about out duties, religious and otherwise, let us take comfort and joy from the example of Joseph and Mary, even as we take joy from the arrival into the world of the Word made Flesh.

A Happy and a Holy Christmas to one and all.

About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

6 Responses to Silent Night, Holy Night

  1. Pingback: Another Christmas survived | depression's gift

  2. That is so true about Christmas. It has struck me as interesting, though, that by spending time in a lot of traditional Catholic communities, the emphasis on Easter and Good Friday comes across so much stronger than in the non-traditional ones. The non-traditional ones have dropped so many of the customs around Easter and Good Friday, or watered them down substantially enough that they do not have as strong as an impact.

    I hope you had a good Christmas!

    Like

  3. Pingback: O Holy Night | nebraskaenergyobserver

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