It’s 5 o’clock and the service from King’s, Cambridge has finished. Outside the wind has dropped and the sky cleared, and over the park there’s a full moon, still low, but it will rise high tonight, amid the winter stars. Not ‘amid the winter snow’, although it’s Christmas Eve. Flood not snow is this winter’s story. But if the air stays still and the sky clear there there’ll be a dew which will rest heavy on the grass, and the fields and the park will shine silver – and we’ll imagine the shepherds and the snow.
Keep a distance away from the nightclubs and pubs which insist on opening on Christmas Eve and there will be peace over the land, so peaceful that a single bell will carry a mile, and if the dew gathers and drops from a nearby tree maybe we’ll hear that too. We don’t need heavenly choirs, we need silence – and we’re back in a stable 2000 years ago, and witness an event that has been celebrated by every age and generation since.
There will be bright stars tonight, and maybe Sirius rising will pass for a star in east. The stars in the southern sky on a winter’s night would confuse the wisest of men.
More than bright stars…by mid-evening high cloud lies across the moon, ice crystals in the upper atmosphere – where the angels might have been – scatter the moonlight to create a luminous halo.
I’d like to think this signifies, but if it does – only God knows!
A star over a stable …. no mention in the bible of a full moon. This was the humblest and lowliest of births, and would have been one of the quietest, had not the heavenly host (a little bit noisy?) appeared to the shepherds.
Jesus came not in glory but as an outcast.
Shout his glory from the rooftops if you will, but not tonight.