Who isn't familiar with the old hymn "Silent Night" by Joseph Mohr? I would suppose that most everyone is. I wonder though, how much the depth of this song as been lost in the familiarity of its tune. I thought about this as I sat down at my piano and played and sang this Christmas song yesterday afternoon.
Silent night! Holy Night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
It was a night like any other to the rest of the world. I wonder in what hour of the night Jesus was born. I wonder if it was in the middle of the night where the night is calm. Can you smell the smells of an animal stable? Jesus, the Holy infant, was lying in a manger surrounded by those smells on this night.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:11-12)
While Baby Jesus slept, the angels in heaven were proclaiming His arrival. While Jesus slept, the shepherds journeyed from far away places to see the newborn King.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward all men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which the Lord hat made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (Luke 2: 13-16)
Is it any wonder how amazed they were at the sight of their promised Messiah finally come into the world? I still can't imagine how they must have felt looking upon a baby's face and realizing that He was God.
Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born,
Christ, the Saviour is born.
Yes, Christ the Saviour was born and is still alive today. What an event that was. It is hard enough for me to wait for something for 10 minutes, let alone hundreds or thousands of years for something to come to pass. The angels had waited for a long, long, time! It is no wonder they were singing!
As I sang this song yesterday and reflect upon it now, my favorite verse is this last one.
Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
At His birth, Jesus was Lord. Simeon knew it fully, even better than Mary and Joseph, the proud parents. Look what Simeon had to say to Mary and Joseph about their baby boy:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:30-32)
Yes, Jesus was Lord, even at his birth. As the song says, His birth was the dawn of redeeming grace as we know it today. It wasn't until approximately 33 1/2 years later that the redeeming grace became reality as Jesus was crucified but rose again from the dead. He was Lord at His birth by destiny, but still lives today because of His power.
May you, dear readers, take some time to sing today this song of God's redeeming grace as presented on a silent night in a tiny little baby. As you hear it over the speakers in the mall or other shopping venue, may you smile as you think about Jesus, the real reason for this Christmas season.
Lord, thank you for your redeeming grace. Thank you for timeless songs that so beautifully depict the reality of Your word so that we can sing praises back to You. And thank You most of all, for giving us Your Son in that manger so many years ago. Amen.
Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.