"But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart" Luke 2:19
"When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began to say to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in a manger." Luke 2:15-16 NASB
The season of Christmas, with all its wonderful decorations and music can be the most stressful time of the year. The traffic, the throngs of people rushing thru their Christmas shopping… and on top of these, the parties and family gatherings… all these speak of stressful nights rather than silent nights.
How different from the first Christmas… the only rush I read about were the shepherds in a holy rush, leaving their flocks to go to Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus.
Before we reach Christmas day this year my heart longs for a quiet heart. Admittedly, I can't control the noise around me. It is impossible and besides, quiet places are practically non-existent these days.
How about having a quiet heart for Christmas… A holy hush in the midst of the rush? This is really about a heart that has shook hands with contentment and has made peace with grace; a heart with a deep hunger for worship; a quiet, spiritually thirst-quenching encounter with God.
Mary treasured everything in her heart. She celebrated the birthday of Jesus with a quiet heart full of grace. Does not this kind of solitude suggest that we be alone? On the contrary, it is quite the opposite… it is a kind of serenity that comes along as we learn to go along with other quiet hearts and worship Jesus.
Focus and deliberate faith habits are needed. Here, we apply some "disciplines" which will lead us to a spontaneous delight of finding God in simplicity and surrender… like a child getting ready for the surprises of Christmas.
I am talking about intentionally desiring a quiet heart by asking Abba to slow down our spiritual heartbeat so our bodies can catch up with our souls while learning to quietly connect with a worshipping and praying community of the redeemed; joining other lepers like us rushing to thank the One who cleansed our wounds.
A heart quieted by the Spirit of God is a heart being transformed by the power of God… a living testimony of brokenness to a jubilant spiritual breakthrough; from power addiction to a liberating life of powerlessness.
Here, blessings are not just things… blessings counted by a quiet heart are those ordinary encounters with God that make us see the grace of God scattered everywhere! Peace on earth, goodwill towards men can only be possible if in our hearts we can truly say “Glory to God in the highest!”
Well, find out where you can join a community that will enrich your quest for a quiet heart. Seek a place, though rare to find, to take time to endure the irritation of silence before you enjoy its benefits.
“Silent night, Holy night” is still the ideal Christmas celebration, it is also the song that challenges the many meaningless noises of Christmas. Rush to God's house for worship to find hush for our hurried souls. Merry Christmas to all of you! This year, have a quiet heart for Christmas.
Thanks for reading ... I write from a heart quietened for Christmas.