But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him. (Habakkuk 2:20 NLT)
Relate: In a crowd, silence is a rare experience. This is why it is so striking when it occurs. Walking through the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, visitors hear nothing but shuffling of feet for at least three quarters of the experience. Every time I have been there, the space has been packed with people silently moving from one exhibit to the next. One of the only other places I have experienced this unexpected silence was after watching the movie American Sniper. The movie ended, and no one moved or said a word for a long time. When people finally began to leave, it was without a word spoken- a packed theater emptied out without a sound. Sometimes, there are no words to describe the enormity before us.
Habakkuk calls for the earth to be silent before the Lord in his holy temple. The book of Habakkuk has a lot to say about God’s holy wrath against pride, greed, idolatry, and all the usual suspects. The part that continually strikes me as I read scripture is God’s presence and activity. We live in a culture that often forgets the awe inspiring nature of God. We value ourselves and our possessions over the one who is Lord over heaven and earth.
React: The holy presence of God is something beyond man’s ability to comprehend and to process. Yet, God, as holy, overwhelming, and complex as he is, has always been present and active with mankind. He was in the Garden; he was in the cloud by day and the fire by night, he was in the temple; and he spoke through the prophets.
Then the unimaginable, God came to walk among us as one of us. He became vulnerable and human in order to make a personal relationship with a holy God possible for all men.
I know it is just a song, not scripture, but if ever there was a time to sit silently in awe, it would be at the birth of our savior. God’s holy presence was come to earth in a man to baptize humanity in the Spirit. Yes, I would say this circumstance called for a “Silent Night.” There are no words to describe the enormity of what God did for us.
God, I thank you for your presence. Help me to never lose perspective of your awe inspiring nature and the grace you have shown by coming among us. Amen.