by Joe Alain

Silent Night, How Christmas Comes
Joe Alain
Luke 2:8-20

I've always been amazed at the cast of characters surrounding the Christmas story. A young woman, a teenager named Mary; Joseph, a carpenter; Zacharias and Elizabeth, two people faithful to God during the many years of prophetic silence; wise men, foreigners from the pagan lands of the East; and then there were the shepherds, the humble, the lowly, the working class, living out in the fields.

Aside from the heavenly and glorious angels most everyone associated with Christ' coming were quite earthly and ordinary folks. No one saw in Mary the one who would bear the Messiah- the Christ! Certainly no one in Bethlehem thought that there was anything special about their child, for no one was giving up their sleeping quarters for Jesus and His family. No Hyatt hotel for the holy family. It would be wood, hay, and stubble where Jesus lay, but it became holy ground.

The first Christmas came almost in complete silence, all but for the angels' message proclaimed to the shepherds out in their fields keeping watch over their flocks. The light came and pierced the darkness. As the Christmas hymn states: ''Silent night, holy night darkness flies, all is light; shepherds hear the angels sing, 'alleluia! hail the king! Christ the savior is born, Christ the savior is born.''

God often comes and works in the lives of people who the world does not take notice. Jesus' birth was not greeted by the religious rulers of Israel, or the wise, or the powerful, or the mighty. There were no Christmas parades, town hall proclamations, no parties, no bonfires to light the night. And yet God was working in the silence of that first Christmas, for the Christ - the Savior and the hope of the world was born in Bethlehem.

Christmas came but it came to the humble of heart. It came as it always comes, to those who thirst and hunger for righteousness. It came as it always does to the ones who have eyes to see and ears to hear. The ...

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