Oz: The Night Before Christmas...

Written by Anthony Douglas on 23 December 2017.

StopwatchI’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve overheard it in the supermarket aisles: people complaining about Christmas. Not so much the holiday itself. It’s the busy-ness that really seems to drive us up the wall. Or to the wall.

In some European cultures, Christmas Eve is the highlight. Families eat together, open presents, go off to a late night church service. Christmas Day is almost the anticlimactic recovery day. But can you imagine Australia having to adjust to such a deadline?
How would the presents get wrapped, if we lost our last minute opportunity? Who would get all the food cooked in time? Would the shops still be open for last minute solutions to forgotten gifts? And of course, can’t we just get a few hours’ rest before the madness begins?!

I wonder whether part of the popularity of Silent Night is the way that it almost inevitably invokes the idea of calm and stillness, and draws us into that kind of moment. We find the idea deeply attractive, don’t we? It’s the antidote to our frenetic activity each Christmas - and if we can get it with dim lights, candles, and the right contemplative mood, all the better.

And so we should. Fundamentally, Christmas is about God coming to us, coming with a message for us, and that means we’re meant to be listening.

So tonight, sit still. God may be speaking to you yet.

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