Yet Bethlehem at Christ's birth was crazy loud compared to other spots of that time.
What was the noise in Bethlehem?
- According to Luke, an invasion of taxpayers had come to Bethlehem for the census, the same crowds that left no room in the inn. "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style,..."
- Bethlehem itself may have been spared, but the shepherds had been blasted out of their wits when the surrounding hills "echoed back the joyous strain, GLO-O-O-O-O, O-O-O-O, O-O-O-O-ORIA, IN EXCELSIS DEO!"
- Throughout the gospels, Mary and Jesus exhibited exceptional serenity. Yet Jesus "lived as a man". "Little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes" is a guess invented over 1800 years after Jesus' birth. Why do we love cradle songs like "Away in a manger" and "Silent Night"? Because they pacify our infants.
- Another certainty: As Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had just settled in for a long winter's nap, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter—what? SHEPHERDS. Chatty shepherds come to the see the newborn king. "When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child. Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them." Everyone? Sounds like a crowd.
- The Wise Men probably appeared rather later; but inasmuch as we're trusting Christmas pageants, that crowd and their livestock paraded in at this point.
- Can we have both "Silent Night" and "The Little Drummer Boy"?
Mr. Bean shows how hard it is to have a Silent Night.
Stop. Reflect. "Rest beside the weary road." We need a silent night.