I saw The Nativity Story recently.
A pleasant enough of a film, with some serious flaws, and some really fine things to recommend it as well.
One aspect of the film that I truly admired was the recurring theme of finding G-d in stillness.
A story from 1 Kings is recited several times in the film. In the story, Elijah is told to go to the mountain to meet up with G-d. Elijah experiences a great wind, an earthquake and a terrible fire, and G-d is not in any of those things.
Then there is a stillness, and G-d is in the stillness.
The movie plays on that theme by presenting G-d and the heavenlies in subtleness and quietude. No big roaring angel overpowering Mary; no majestic wrath telling Joseph to get his act together. Just a persistent holy presence available for those that would take the time to listen.
The idea doesn’t fully work in the movie (the multitude of heavenly hosts is reduced to a pleasant glow) – but I admire them for trying it.
This season has become the season of busyness, of running around, of doing many doings.
It is a season concerned with how garish we can decorate our houses, how sugared up we can get our kids, how stuffed we can fill our rooms with stuff.
It is about jingle jangle bells, clanging carols and honking car horns.
I’m thinking that maybe the best way to find the meaning for the season is not in shouting “Silent Night” in the hopes of drowning out “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”
Maybe it is in hushing, and listening.
And being still.
Just my thoughts,