"Be silent, all people, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."
We traditionally sing "Silent night, holy night..." on Christmas Eve - in fact, we sing it by candlelight at our church (like many others do, too). It's always a very calm, quiet & reflective time. All the rushing around is over. Now we simply wait for Christmas morning to come. It's fairly easy to be "silent" on Christmas Eve.
But Zechariah's call to "be silent" isn't directed to one specific night. Zechariah records a series of visions from God (6 to be exact). It's at the end of the 2nd vision (God's presence as a "wall of fire" around Jerusalem, and the promise of all nations coming to worship God together there) that God calls the people to practice silence before God.
Surely he doesn't mean that for us now, though... right? There's just too much to do! Too many "boxes" we need to check off our lists. Too many things this holiday season demands of us, right? But if God is in our midst (as Zechariah asserts), then maybe we ought to take notice!?! Can we see signs of "Emmanuel" (God-with-us)? And when we do, can we stop our busy-ness long enough to be silent... to take in God's majesty & awe? Maybe then we'd come to experience the true power of Christmas!?!