Saturday, November 30, 2013

Silent Nights and Silent Days

Tomorrow is December First, the Sunday of Hope. This Sunday ushers in a month of expectation and excitement, the first of a 24-day countdown to Christ's birth. And it's the first day of socially accepted blaring Christmas music, shining lights, and wintry decorations. Bring it on.
I've already been listening to Christmas carols, and the air in here is softly scented with spicy, citrusy essential oils and candles. Tall Guy's got the tree up for trimming, and I'm ready to switch the pumpkins on the buffet for snowmen and angels. I'll bake and cook and make and wrap gifts, but...
I have no voice.
I'm bursting at the seams with Christmas energy and I can't share it. I can't practise for Christmas choir or sing along with my Christmas playlist. I can't call my family or spend three hours chatting away with my best friend. I can't work or volunteer or say a cheery "Feliz Navidad!". I can't even whisper it. I am silent.
Zechariah must have hated it. After decades of hoping against hope, his wife was going to have a child! He would have wanted to tell everyone and anyone who would listen their good news - we're having a baby! Maybe he went running to his friends, excitement written all over his face. "What is it?" they asked. His eyes lit up, he opened his mouth, and then he remembered - he was mute. Maybe Elizabeth needed some comforting words or simply wanted to marvel at what this miracle meant to them. And he couldn't say a word.
I like to think Zechariah danced around his friends to express his joy, pumping his fist in the air, and that he held Elizabeth close in a powerful, loving embrace, sharing her tears of joy. He kept working and living and praying and praising in silence, precisely because his silence was a sign of better things yet to come. In his silence, he would have had more time for reflection and meditation on the future. No noisy chatter, just calm quiet, ripe for hearing the Word.
While silently waiting for Christmas to come, I join the ranks of Zechariah. I'll use my actions to prepare, certainly, but I'm making room as well for the quiet. To really listen to the lyrics of my favourite carols, to read the ancient words again and let them fill me up. I embrace the silence and quietly, hopefully, wait for the Good News to arrive. A closed mouth, but an open heart.


I'm linking up with Emily at Imperfect Prose. Check it out today and every Wednesday. Maybe you'll even join in!

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