WEEK THREE | DAY FOUR | HABAKKUK 2:20
This song, originally written in Greek, dates back as far as the 2nd century A.D. It is a reminder of our heritage and a call to awe deserving of silence as well as voices raised in praise. Based on Habakkuk 2:20, “Let all the earth keep silence before him,” the hymn was originally intended to prepare congregants for communion. As we remember Christ’s glory, “Light from Light,” we also recall the burden He carried for us, the life He lived and the death He suffered for the world.
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.
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 POW’RS OF HELL MAY VANISH
AS THE DARKNESS CLEARS AWAY.
In a South Asian village, a Frontier Fellowship vision trip team was welcomed with cheers and celebration. Marigold petals were tossed in the air while drummers played in honor and jubilee. And then, utter silence—reverential and holy. It is this people group’s custom, upon greeting someone, to take a solemn moment like this to honor the image of God in each person.
Silence and pondering the things of heaven are challenges to our typical Christmas contexts, full of busyness, chatter and material concerns. Do we need more decorations? Do I have everyone’s presents? Will the meal be cooked on time? Take a moment today to practice silence. Reflect on the profound gift of Immanuel, God with us.