I am a fan of the creativity and music of Caroline Arends. The material for today’s episode is taken from one of her advent reflections called, ‘Probably Not a Silent Night’. Her song on the same topic can be found here: https://youtu.be/I2zuPp0hiaA

I think he cried the way that babies do
I think his mama might have cried a little too
I bet you Joseph didn’t have a clue
What to do—he was new at fatherhood
So I don’t think it was a silent night
I kinda doubt that all was calm that night
But there were those who heard about a light
They saw the sight and they understood:
It was a holy, it was a holy, it was holy night

Perhaps you have participated with your children in holding a lit candle at a church service while singing “Silent Night.” We did this many times at my Father’s church during their carol service. When our children were young we tried to keep them quiet during the song. We did not want to disturb the peace.

Arends writes:
“And yet, while “Silent Night” is a beautiful carol with a wonderful history, a crying baby is probably much truer to the original Christmas story. Jesus was a real human baby, born to young and no doubt soon-to-be-sleep-deprived parents. He came to a real world, rife with politics and scarcity and disease and conflict.

That means there’s no need to follow an idealised script this Advent. Jesus is close to us in candlelit tranquility, no doubt. (And I heartily recommend candlelit contemplation whenever it’s available to you!) But rest assured that Jesus is not the slightest bit afraid of bad lighting and noisy spaces. He has a long track record of coming to be with us in the nitty-gritty.”

O, when the herald angels sang
I bet they thought it odd
That such a poor and broken place
Should be a home for God
And did they gasp to see him shiver
Cold and hungry in our skin?
Did they tremble, did they wonder
How we deserved a gift like Him?
Oh, but just the same
The baby came …

Consider this Scripture as worthy of meditation this Advent:
“Though he was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8

Questions for Reflection
Do you ever find yourself idealising Christmas?
Do you ever find yourself idealising life with God?
Is it time to open up a “messy” space in your life to Jesus?

God bless, Malcolm

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm