It begins with an angel. A single angel and a young girl. Not a chorus of cherubim, not a large city, but one angel and one young girl, having a quiet conversation about an unexpected future.
Then, there is another conversation, this time between two women. One woman’s baby leaps in the womb upon the other’s arrival. The Holy Spirit fills her and she tells the other she is blessed. The first angel’s message is confirmed: the young girl will give birth to the Savior. This is a miraculous event, just as the first, but it is still quiet and private.
Another angel comes, to a man this time, but this angel appears in a dream. The man doesn’t even experience the shock of seeing an angel interrupt his work, just the confused haze of waking up from something real instead of imagined. This intimate dream directs his path to marry this pregnant girl.
Then, there is waiting. Months and months of waiting for the birth of a child. No other angels. No other announcements. Simply the quiet growth of life within a womb.
Humans are so prone to grand announcements, especially with the birth of children. We post pictures of the soon-to-be-fathers kissing the bellies of the soon-to-be-mothers. We shout to the world about the change that is coming for our family, asking them to share in our joy.
God does not shout. He does not broadcast in the wind or write in the clouds that His one and only Son will soon be born. He doesn’t send angels to follow around Mary with a big signs that say, “Precious cargo. Treat with care.” He doesn’t have baby showers or gender parties or photo sessions or Facebook posts.
God opts for quiet conversations with a faithful few.
When I sense God calling me to something, I want Him to be a flashy broadcaster. I want Him to shout confirmations from the sky and perform miracles that confirm my path. I want Him to announce the plan to others, and pave the way for my success.
But if God was not loud in the preparations for the birth of His only Son, why would I expect Him to be loud now?
The fact is, God values the quiet. It teaches us things the loud never could.
In the quiet, there is mystery and trust. There is space and faith and wonder.
The quiet paves the way for Mary’s response to Jesus’ birth. A response that God longs for us to have when we witness Him at work.
Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19
There is a Christmas song I have come to love that reflects on this soft and slow beginning. Perhaps it can be a quiet moment in your day that can lead to the treasured pondering of the ways of God.
Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.