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Chaplaincy

Monday, Third Week of Advent

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
--James 1:17

Silent Messages

Midnight mass is one of my favorite ways to celebrate Christmas. There’s something different about celebrating the glories of God when the rest of the world sleeps quietly. I don’t remember much about my first midnight mass, only that I can still see myself walking to and from my church and staring at the stars on that clear night and wondering which star led the way to the manger. I have since learned that that star doesn’t shine in the sky in today’s time, but my childish imagination saw the possibilities. I remember imagining myself following that star, putting myself in the shoes of the wise men, the shepherds and even Mary. All the while, still staring at the stars and feeling the silence of midnight all around me. It is through my childhood imaginings that I came to appreciate how Christ was born into the world silently, without the fanfare some people make his birth out to be. Only few knew who He was at the time of his birth and so He slipped into the world unbeknownst to many.

Every Christmas, I still catch myself gazing at the sky, searching for that star, even when it is cloudy. And I’ve realized I’m not desperate to actually find any star, but the act of looking gives me a moment of such profound silence to appreciate. I believe that God speaks loudest in silence, just like a light burns brightest in the dark. Jesus Christ was born when the world was dark and we needed Him. He was God’s answer to our problems and He came to us quietly.

Christmas comes each year during a time when folks need their spirits lifted the most, and in the past few days especially, we’ve all been searching for answers. God has a personal message for each and every one of us at Christmastime and I hope we all can open our ears to it, because it most often comes in those moments of silence we sometimes don’t notice. I hope that in our busy lives we can take a few minutes between road trips and parties to gaze at the stars, watch the falling snow, stare at a burning candle, find a moment of peaceful silence and listen to the guidance God has to give.

-- Bridget Lewis ‘16