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The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
‘Tis the season of ringing and singing, lights and sights, shopping and wrapping, toasting and hosting; whew, that’s full-on holiday bliss and a whole lot of clamor. Two thousand years ago in a Beth-lehem stable where a couple awaited their firstborn son, there were none of these: there was silence. Now that silence might have been rather loud, what with sheep, goats and donkeys at-tending while the young woman labored and a company of the heavenly host rehearsed their songs of joy. Yes, that silence may have been loud, indeed!
Silence doesn’t always sound the same. It has a personality, a character, a nature, and perhaps even a color. Silence isn’t void, nor is it necessarily absent of sound. After all, the silence of two people not speaking can be quite loud and the silence of loneli-ness can be deafening. The silence of a welcome home hug might whisper or it may shout. Ah, but the silence of waiting for the Christ child, now that had to be completely wondrous, perhaps even golden.
Imagine the silence which will surround us when we neither harm nor destroy on God’s holy mountain because the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord. What utterance of holiness will descend over us in that day? What then will we hear? That will be the silence of peace.
Prince of Peace, come into our homes and into our lives this Ad-vent season. May all the sounds of the season remind us of you and the hope that you were born to bring. Amen.
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