“Silent Night”

24 Dec

“Silent Night”

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

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glory streams from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing, “Alleluia!
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born”

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, loves pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous Star, lend thy light
With the angels let us sing
Alleluia to our King
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born

Dear God, I’ve been saving this one for Christmas Eve. It’s the standard candlelight service hymn. When the lights go out and we pass the flame of the candle from one person to another, we all sing this standard. No matter the church service or denomination I’ve been to for a Christmas Eve service, I’m pretty sure this was the hymn for that moment. It’s quite beautiful. So gentle. So peaceful.

It starts with just the image. A mom holding her child. It’s calm at the moment. Yes, they are in a barn, but after the travel, the uncomfortable pregnant woman having to camp out, the frantic search for a place to give birth, and the pain of childbirth, this moment is quiet and peaceful. And the rest won’t last. There will be things to do, but this moment…this moment is peaceful.

Then the shepherds arrive. They were told to be there by angels and they tell Mary and Joseph their story. I’m sure that this was a great comfort to the new parents as they tried to make sense of everything that was happening. Did they feel like failures for having had to give birth to your son in a barn? Did they doubt what they had heard from the angels in that moment? Well, if they did, here come the shepherds telling stories of angels in the hills proclaiming Jesus’s birth and pointing them to the barn. God did know they were there! The angels knew they were there! What an affirmation!

And now the baby. I don’t know how radiant Jesus actually was, but it’s a nice thought to think that he had a glow about him. Surely there was something that gave the newborn Jesus a different countenance than the average baby. And here’s a reference to the dawn. The Sun (Son?) rising. Hope. It’s the new advent of redeeming grace. Even in birth, Jesus was deserving of our worship, as the shepherds displayed.

In this last verse we join the angels in their worship from the second verse. And so, Father, I sing this morning, “Alleluia! Christ the Saviour is born!”

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on December 24, 2019 in Christmas Hymns, Hymns and Songs



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