In the midst of the chaos of the holiday season, we talk a lot about stillness and calm. Perhaps it’s because our Christmases are anything but, we imagine the first Christmas as tranquil and serene. I’m inclined to think that this is a fabrication because if you have been around someone giving birth, usually tranquility isn’t the most apt description. Take into account the fact that immediately beforehand you had a teenage girl about to give birth and she couldn’t even get a room in the inn, and this is the makings of a chaotic night. We might like to imagine the first Christmas a a “silent night,” but I’m not sure it was.
However, in the craziness of our lives, and in the hecticness of that very first Christmas, there is at least one way where we can be quieted; we can be stilled with the majesty of His love. Much like a mother’s lullaby rocks a crying baby to sleep, our Father’s love can bring calm in the midst of our chaos. As He promised to a restless and rebellious city in Zephaniah 3:17:
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
If we think about it for a minute, this verse offers some interesting juxtapositions. He is both “mighty” and in their midst. This is the essence of the Christmas story. The One who is mighty, became lowly, and dwelt in our midst, that He might save. Similarily, this verse says that God will both “quiet” the people and rejoice over them “with loud singing.” The One who throws a Heavenly party when a sinner repents and puts their faith in Him, will quiet a rebellious city with His deep and profound love. His love will be our refuge – even though our circumstances might not change, we can find peace and quiet with Him.
The busyness of the holiday season, is quickly replaced by the busyness of other seasons. The chaos of our current circumstances is subsumed by the chaos of what comes next. But God offers respite. God provides rest. With the stillness and the completeness of His mighty love.
How have you experienced the quietness of God’s love?