Silent Night: A Christmas in the Sleeping Christ
Merry Christmas. Praise the Lord!!! He is born! What a day! I am praying you are having a blessed Christmas today just enjoying the Lord. What more could we ask for than to be enjoying the Lord with our family and friends. This is God’s plan for us. To be fruitful and multiply, lie down, behold Him, eat Him, enjoy Him, dwell in Him, become the dwelling place for Him, and ultimately marry Him. Often we overcomplicate this, but it is very simple. Praise the Lord He has made it really simple! So this Christmas, I hope this message helps you do just that. Enjoy Him with your family & friends and rest in Him
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A while back, I wrote concerning the sleeping Christ. The Lord touched my heart with this matter again recently through the song Silent Night. Oh how wonderful this song is. Christ the Savior was born! He was even Lord at His birth! Not only was He born, but He perfectly expressed and represented God in every stage of His life — even as an infant (Gen 1:26, Isa. 53:2, John 1:14, & Heb. 1:3)! How do you represent God as an infant? I do not know, but Christ did it! Even in His sleep. Just like in the boat during the storm in Matt. 8:25, Mark 4:38, & Luke 8:23. What a silent night that must have been in the stern of the boat just like it was at the manger.
Often we think of the wise men screaming “PRAISE THE LORD! HALLELUJAH!” however, they must have been relatively quiet as if you read Matthew 2, the Bible does not mention the infant crying nor waking. While there are certainly times to scream praises to the Lord, the wise men must have understood that if they screamed at the top of their lungs they would have upset or woke the infant. Even fools understand this concept, so the wise men must have understood it as well. This is very significant as it shows, they must have praised Jesus relatively quietly so as not to wake Him or cause Him to cry. Sound similar to another situation? Maybe like a boat in a storm? Matthew 2:12 furthers this thought by stating:
“And receiving an answer to their asking, they were divinely instructed and warned in a dream not to go back to Herod; so they departed to their own country by a different way” (Matt. 2:12 AMPC).
From this verse we can see the wise men had their question answered in a dream meaning they were not only silent, but silent to the point of sleep. Now while I fully believe the Lord COULD appear to them in a dream without them sleeping, I don’t believe that He WOULD do this. The Father could have opened the heavens and spoke to them, but all the Bible says here is “ὄναρ” which is Greek for a dream. According to HELPS Word-studies, this word “ὄναρ” refers to strictly a “sleep-dream”. When considering the focus of the Lord’s economy, which is Christ and the Church, this makes perfect sense! You see The Lord wants to express Himself through man and mingle divinity and humanity together. And the only way to fulfill this mingling of divinity and humanity was to send His only begotten Son, that through Him, we all may become sons of God (1 John 4:9, Rom 8:14–17, & 1 John 3:2). Therefore, because God chooses to express Himself through humanity the wise men must have slept.
This is a very important point to see as the wise-men sleeping at the manger indicates two things: (1) they were silent and just enjoyed being in the presence of the Lord, simply beholding His Sleeping-Self and (2) they must have spent a considerable amount of time in the presence of the Sleeping One! In fact, in order to have a dream they must have spent at least 90 minutes sleeping so as to complete a full sleep cycle and enter into REM sleep (where dreams occur). These 90 minutes don’t even include the time spent praising the Lord and fellowshipping with Mary and Joseph before and possibly even after. All eyes were set on Him, and while He did not utter a word, they just enjoyed a silent night.
In John 15 the Lord calls us to abide in Him. Quite frequently we wonder, “How can I abide in the Lord constantly?” This is how! Just by beholding Him. By laying down in His presence. By enjoying and praising the Lord silently. Did you know you can praise and enjoy the Lord silently? Yes, it is great we can shout “O Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!” at any time and be filled, but did you know, you also could just mumble these words and be supplied all the same? What a wonderful God we have that His flowing is not dependent on a minimum decibel limit, but it is just based on uttering the wonderful, worthy name, Jesus. That is how we can abide. By calling on His name.
We also can abide by just talking to Him. I once had a brother tell me, “Do you know what the difference is between complaining and praying? It is just adding Oh Lord!” Whenever we encounter an issue, we should let the Lord know about it. We let our significant other know. We let our family know. We let our friends know. But do we let the Lord know? Of course, He already knows about whatever we are facing, but did YOU know that the Lord is your husband (Isa. 54:5 & Hos. 2:16–20)? Wouldn’t we want to let our husband know what is going on in our day? He wants to know even meaningless stuff. Often I find myself telling the Lord, “Oh Lord, I am about to walk from this place to that place and then go eat. I love you,” and every time He meets me and is there with me. And I in Him. He cannot abide in us until we abide in Him.
The wise men must have had lots of opportunity to abide in the Lord on their journey to meet the newborn Savior. All those miles walked, there must have been many questions along with much “meaningless” conversation. The wise men must have had a good understanding of this term “abide” as in Matthew 2:12 it says, “And receiving an answer to their asking”. I love this phrase because it shows that abiding in the Lord doesn’t call for us to forget our current issues, but just to invite the Lord into them by asking and telling Him about them. By doing so, the Lord takes care of His sheep, and He gives us Life and Peace (Psa. 23, John 10, & Rom. 8:6). For the wise men, this does not mean that all their problems were magically solved, but it does mean that amidst their storms they found Life and Peace at the foot of the Lord.
One more point I would like to make is considering what the Lord tells the wise men through the angel. All the Lord said was do not return to Herod. This is noteworthy as He never says stay, He just says don’t go back to Herod. After, we can see the Lord must have been telling the wise men to leave, because (1) the wise men were in their spirit through resting in the Lord’s presence and (2) Mary and Joseph also needed to leave (Matt. 2:13–16). Now you may be asking, “Why am I bringing this up?” It is just to say that the Lord never wants us to sit in our anxieties, issues, or struggles. However, it should be noted that He will not just remove them from our lives either. Instead, He wants us to continue to walk through the valley. But there is a catch. He wants us to walk through the valley with Him. In Daniel 3, the Lord met Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire (v.24–25). In Daniel 6, the Lord meets Daniel in the lion’s den. In Matthew 8, the Lord wakes and meets the disciples in the boat. In Exodus, the Lord meets mapless Moses through leading Him in the wilderness with just His presence. In Acts, the Lord meets Paul in prison so much so that Paul wrote most of the New Testament from his holding cell. The Lord meets David constantly from his time against Goliath to his time with King Saul to even His time with Bathsheba. Over and over the Lord has shown He will do whatever it takes to meet us where we are today. Even send His only begotten Son in order that He may become the firstborn of many Sons.
Wherever you are today, whether you are around a bunch of crazy-Jesus loving folks, in a place where praising the Lord is frowned upon, or somewhere in between you can come to the Lord and enjoy Him right now. Whether you are in troubling times, on the top of the world, or just having another normal day, you can come to the Lord and just enjoy Him right now. Just like the wise men did with Mary and Joseph on that Silent Night in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. May we all have such a Silent Night today. Gathered with people the Lord divinely placed in our lives just enjoying His handiwork and resting in Him.
May Life and Peace be with you all.
References and Further Enjoyment:
- The Holy Bible Recovery Version, w/ footnotes
- Hymn, For a Child is Born to Us: https://soundcloud.com/singtothelordnet/for-a-child-is-born-to-us?si=aa37eaeab63b4dbdb8e1c15c9aaaff41&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
- Hymn, The Mystery Hidden in God’s Heart: https://soundcloud.com/william-jeng/the-mystery-hidden-in-gods-heart?si=db9a73ddfab948c99db5b1e7996779f3&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing