The above title is from a song, I think by Cole Porter. I promise before I leave this post I will look it up and give the proper credit. But for right now, let’s think about what those words say to you. Usually in the early evening, there are movements, ripples of humanity echoing and ricocheting throughout the neighborhood. A dog barks at the couple walking their dog before turning in for the night. Cars are still shushing by. Planes are still grumbling across the sky. But as the darkness covers the town, things get quiet. By the time midnight and the single digit o’clocks roll around it’s very quiet indeed. It is usually at this time of the night that your fears and worries catch up with you. After all, there’s nothing left to distract you. It’s just you and the creaky floorboards. As a person who wears hearing aids, this quiet comes as soon as I sit down on the bed, even if I’m not going to sleep for another couple of hours. I noticed that if it snows, it gets even quieter! Not that I’m wishing for that right now. It’s just an observation.
And so, in the still of the night, while shepherds were hanging around the hillside, the sound of heavenly voices burst in. Heavenly voices...not the cute little kids singing Away in a Manger, but full-throated angels voices. Yikes! We’ve been discussing angels in the Wednesday evening class and we pretty much agree that angels have to tell you, “do not be afraid,” whenever they show up because if an angel shows up, it is pretty significant stuff! And the shepherds didn’t just see one, like Mary. They had a whole chorus, contingent or whatever a groups of angels are called. Behold, they said, tidings of great joy, they announced. And then that multitude of the heavenly host. And the still of the night was no more.
What would that that have been like, I wonder? I’m rather cowardly, so I don’t imagine it would have been a peaceful moment for me! But to hear those voices especially in the dark of the night, when all is, as the song says, “in the chill, still of the night.” Just think about that.
**I forgot that a 50’s song was also called this. But the version I’m thinking of was published in 1937 and written by Cole Porter.