I rarely fail to cry when I hear “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Perhaps because as a mother, I relate to this quiet moment of peace Mary was able to take in as she rocked her infant son. It’s that moment after birth, when a mother’s eyes meet her child’s for the first time – when the magic of motherhood physically flows from her, covering her infant. It’s an instance of silence, when the heart of a mother speaks mentally to her child and a bond is formed – one that is rarely ever broken.
Mary was favored by God to bring His son into the world. Those words brought her joy, but also an unrest. Even with the assurance of this child’s plight, she was blessed. And Mary recognized that. I can’t imagine her agony as she sat at the foot of the cross, His blood pooling at her knees. I can’t begin to fathom the pain she suffered being so close, and still unable to comfort Him or prevent the events that would kill Him. Even through her pain, Mary was favored and she recognized that.
My child, my gift from God, was less than perfect by the world’s standards. His abilities limited, his path set, and I could do little to cushion the blows of life. As a new mom, I was favored as well -- blessed to have this baby, but it was what hovered behind me. . .the things I would not be able to change or prevent, that would try to rob me of the joy. Despite the hardships, I have never felt anything less than favored and blessed, just as I know Mary must have felt.
Still, when the Christmas tree is lit, flickering in a darkened house, my heart breaks for the mother of Jesus. When the tiny Christmas music box on the piano tings out “Silent Night,” I find myself sobbing inconsolably for a mother who lost her son because . . .of . . .me.
Yet she is favored above all others, blessed even in her loss. Her child’s destiny was Savior of the world, sent with the specific purpose to save our souls. Silent night. Holy night. When all was calm. When all was bright. A holy infant, slept – slept in heavenly peace.
Before you close your eyes on Christmas night, hum this tender song and ask for forgiveness so His death was not in vain. Mary was favored to bring this Christ child into the world, but you are favored by His death.
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