Sunday, December 18, 2011

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

I am sitting here in the stillness, the only one awake in a sleeping household, with the tree lights as my only illumination.

The only sounds are the whirring of the heater and the occasional white noise from the baby monitor.  I can hear Baby softly snoring in her bed, and I keep the monitor on even though she is still in our room and Rob is there.

I should go to bed, but this kind of quiet is so rare in my home that I feel like I need to savor it.  Even early mornings are not this quiet because someone is always fitful or stirring.   This is the kind of quiet I long for in the middle of my very loud days.

People keep asking me if I'm ready for Christmas.  I don't mind the question, but I don't really know how to answer.   If they are talking about the gifts and the cookies and the classroom parties and the pageants, then no, I am not ready.  I learned a long time ago that there is always something I want to do at Christmas that will have to go undone, and I am usually the only one who knows.

If they are talking about having my heart prepared, I'm not sure of that either.  I can't tell if I've made my heart as ready as possible for the birth of our Lord.  My guess is most likely not.  It's been my experience that as soon as I start thinking I've got the hang of something, the farther I am from it.

This week has NO MERCY written all over the calendar.  I will be running and running from the time I get up until the time I collapse into bed each night.  I have two different calendars going because I can't fit everything on one.   Despite all my attempts to keep things simple, I know it will be a marathon run at a sprinter's pace.

That is why I am sitting here tonight thinking of the lyrics of one of my favorite hymns:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wing├Ęd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

My favorite verses are 3 and 4.  I can only imagine the hosts of heaven spread as a vanguard for Christ, with even the angels shielding their faces from the presence of the Lord.  It makes me want to keep absolutely still.

But now it's very late, and I have to turn myself over to the stillness of sleep.  I'm sure I will be scarce around here this week.  I have to find the time to be still even while I'm not.


  1. Thank you - that was beautiful. And I read it while sitting in the darkness with only the Christmas lights on, enjoying the quiet of the morning!

    Wishing you a holy, peace-filled Christmas, and God's choicest blessings in 2012!

  2. What a beautiful post Aimee!

    I have been trying very hard to prepare my mind and my heart for Jesus this year. And like you, I know I am falling short. Luckily our Savior is very forgiving and appreciates our attempts as much as our successes!

    Praying that with the help of God you are able to take it one activity at a time this week and get everything done that needs to get done!

  3. I know exactly what you mean about the nighttime quiet being different from the morning (or naptime) quiet. I treasure that time. Often staying up too late.

    Those are beautiful words. I feel like I need to search out a really good recording of that song.

    I'm not as prepared as I could be, I know it. But I'm searching out the small moments and making the best of it. And reminding myself that God wants my effort, not my perfection.

    (Check out the band All Sons and Daughters--really excellent music that will quiet your soul while helping you remember how great He is)


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