As I went out through the gate on Sunday morning and stepped onto the side of the road, my car looked like it had grown tufts of white hair overnight, thousands of clumps each three or four millimetres long, all over the roof and bonnet. I wish now that I’d taken a photo instead of pouring lukewarm water over it and driving off.
Together with the freezing air that was filling my lungs, it felt very festive. And with the central heating broken in church, there was a reminder of the bleak mid-winter too!
Yet there are still three and a half weeks to wait.
Truth be told I’m not a big fan of Christmas. Tree. Tinsel. Trappings. I could live without. But despite my Scrooge-like mentality, there are aspects of the season that do connect with my soul. Many carols fill me with emotion and anticipation. Over the season, some will make tears form and my mind wander as I sing.
Often we sing carols as if accompanying an idyllic snowy picture on the front of a card. And even if there was snow in Bethlehem – and believe me, well believe Google, it does snow there too – it would have been anything but idyllic. The Holy Infant so tender and mild was born into a nation under occupation. Born into turmoil.
I came across this clip yesterday. Silent Night with the Salvation Army band, Foy Vance and Duke Special. It’s beautiful … even if it is a little too idyllic-snowy-picture for my taste!
But it triggered me to write this post, and reminded me of the Simon & Garfunkel version of Silent Night set against the Seven O’clock News bulletin.
As I wait for Christmas, I remember that the Son of God, love’s pure light, was born into a world or pain and tumult, a world that echoes our own. As I wait, I rejoice that God can do noisy, scary, fearful nights as well as silent ones.