For the past four years, I have written a blog post celebrating Christmas. Today, it is Christmas Eve and I am staring at a blank page. Yet I couldn’t ignore the whisper lingering in my mind—a whisper to be still and write today.
This year feels different from past Christmas Eves. I feel different. It has been a beautiful year full of change and growth. As Christmas comes and 2018 closes, I’m a little overwhelmed by it all but extremely thankful for the year behind me. I’m finding peace and rest while reflecting on the Lord and His provision today.
I’m thinking about what God has been trying to teach me through the past three weeks of Advent. I can’t wrap up just one revelation about Jesus and place a bow on it this Christmas. Yes, I have met with God. I have marveled at His incarnation once again. But I can’t give precise language to His presence.
I think lacking words can be beautiful though. As a writer, that statement seems a little paradoxical. Yet I think we don’t appreciate breathless, wordless moments enough in the noise of our culture. Sometimes stories are born from silence.
Christmas is filled with music and parties and movies. It’s a loud season. In the midst, I think we forget that Jesus came to us silently, as a baby who could not utter a word.
The most anticipated moment in history happened so simply. The long-awaited Messiah entered the earth in a stable under a star-filled night in Bethlehem. He gave no monologue and there was no big celebration. I think of the song “Silent Night” and the image it offers of Jesus resting peacefully on the night of His birth. I like that picture of Jesus.
God has taught me to rest in quietness. This year, there have been many moments that I haven’t fully understood or haven’t comprehended enough to put into words. There have been days when I haven’t known what kind of prayers to pray. At 20, life is unraveling quickly, and I often feel lost in uncertainty. I have thoughts and words inside of me that have not yet become stories.
But today on Christmas Eve, I deeply believe that God is faithful. And I deeply believe that He is good. The truest words that I can pen this Christmas are: O Lord, thank you.
Those four words are enough. That’s the most genuine praise I can offer because I am so thankful. I am so thankful that the Lord sent Jesus to earth to redeem His people. I am so thankful that Jesus brought light into our darkness. I am so thankful that Jesus is my Savior.
After Jesus was born, word that the Messiah had arrived began spreading. Things started to get loud. But the Bible shows us that His mother Mary was quiet: “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). That’s one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible because it reminds me that it’s okay to worship Jesus quietly sometimes. I don’t always have to have a lot of words.
Instead of feeling pressured to write a long, unified blog post or a perfect Instagram caption, I will be still.
I will treasure Jesus and ponder His birth in my heart this Christmas. I will worship Him with simple words.
The Christmas story is enough. Jesus has come and He is coming again. God loved us enough to sacrifice His son for us. O Lord, thank you.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12
8 thoughts on “A Quiet Christmas”
This is beautiful, Emma.
Be still and know.
Be full of joy.
Thank you so much. Have a merry Christmas!
Beautiful Emma, thank you for sharing this !
Thank you for reading!
Thank you for the encouragement!
This is so true. In a world of instant media of all sorts, we put some our phones, and kept the TV off and just shared time as a family. What a different and nice experience. Now I sit in quiet because the cable was cut, and no Netflix or Hulu to watch so I sit in silence and it is beautiful and peaceful. All this quiet after listening to 3 screaming children. Craziness then piece and calm as the sweet baby sleeps.
I’m glad that you and your family enjoyed a peaceful Christmas. Quietness certainly doesn’t get enough credit in our culture. Thank you.