Sunday, December 23, 2012

Silent Night

I come from a family of transplanted Yankees - upstate New Yorkers who relocated to West Texas. Even though we moved to Texas when I was 8 and I have spent 25 of the last 30 years living in Texas, there is something in me that causes me feel unsettled and makes me long for 'home'. Home where there are seasons: Tall green hills to roll down in the Spring, fireflies to catch all Summer, blazing colors in the Fall, and s-n-o-w in the winter.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, that one of my favorite memories from a childhood in West Texas was a surprisingly cold and wet winter that resulted in several snowstorms. I remember one night looking out into the dark and realizing that it was snowing...and the ground and roads were already covered in several inches of the white stuff.

My sister and I put on our shoes and coats and walked out front to stand in the falling snow and then crossed the street and stood under the circle of light the street lamp made on the ground. The world felt completely still as if we were the only ones awake. Not a single car track or footprint (except for our own) marred the white expanse. The thick cloud ceiling seemed to make things feel closer, like a blanket had been thrown down from the sky to cover us. There was absolutely no sound except that which the snow made as it hit the ground: A quiet, almost non-existent, 'sh sh sh sh'. When I think about it I can still feel, see, and hear what I experienced in those moments. Even though it was cold, dark and silent, I was not scared. instead, I had a sense of profound joy and wonder that I have never quite experienced again. Looking back on it now, I think my wonder in those moments came from an awe of something bigger than myself: A sense of the stillness that comes with God's peace.

It was a holy moment....

Tonight is Christmas Eve. It is another holy night filled with awe and wonder at the work that God is capable of doing.

A night where miracles are not only anticipated with longing, but fulfilled. A night where God's peace and joy reigns over all the world and we fall silent before His glory.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

May you experience Christmas filled with awe at the presence of God With Us and know the quietness that accompanies His peace.

Merry Christmas.

-Chesney Szaniszlo