What must it have been like
That holy and silent night;
Was all truly calm and bright
When they heard the angels sing
For the long-awaited King?
Though His people had been waiting
Were their hearts still debating?
How did they receive
Him that first Christmas Eve?
Herod ruthlessly defended his authority,
Heralding his royal superiority.
But with the whispers of a new lord
Fear married insecurity and
He charged in with a mighty sword.
In his anxious waiting
He worried his rule would be waning.
The priests and scribes found explanations
Within the Prophet’s ancient quotations.
But with their standing and education,
Their indifference poisoned the nation.
With minds full of logic and knowledge
They ignored the short distance to the manger,
Staying in the comfort of their own walls,
Not realizing their souls were in danger.
For in their apathetic waiting,
With hearts hopelessly hibernating,
They mastered the art of hesitating.
But oh the joy that awaited the Magi!
They believed this birth came from on high.
The Author of time sent His Son
To offer salvation that can never be undone.
Nothing could keep them from adoring the King of Kings,
The One of whom the shepherds heard the angels sing.
In their journey of waiting
They found hope still permeating.
Anger, apathy and adoration
All surrounded His miraculous birth.
In anger Herod condemned Him.
In apathy the religious quoted Him.
And in adoration the Magi enthroned Him.
So the question returns to us
On our own Christmas Eve,
When plans don’t go as expected
Do hostility and doubt fuel our actions?
When our research and reasoning are corrected,
Do we push aside truth with ideas and distractions?
Or do we see that salvation comes not from our deeds;
Have we ignored the One we truly need?
Will you embrace this child,
And be forever reconciled?
For anger and apathy can only be dethroned
When this Savior reigns in your heart alone.
Instead of hopeless waiting
Find His rule liberating.
Then all is calm, all is bright
On the holy night
When the Son becomes your delight.
– By Hannah De Cleene
Reflections from Matthew 2 and this sermon from Pastor Pat Nemmers.