Silent Night

Silent night, Holy night, all is calm…

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 UMC Hymn #239, J. Mohr

Starting with a single, reverent word, silent, we become transported to that night over 2000 years ago to the birth of our Savior on a silent night in a small town in a simple stable.

Traditionally, churches sing Silent Night at the close of a Christmas Eve service. Lights dimmed. Calming shadows in the sanctuary. Candles lit, casting a shimmering glow. The familiar verses sung emotionally with simple accompaniment. Tearful eyes imagining the Birth.

While the Bible does not directly speak of a literal silent night, see Luke 2, we can nevertheless appreciate the work of Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr. Mohr and Gruber capture those peaceful, quiet, and magical moments just before the crescendo of a Heavenly Army announced the Birth to nearby shepherds. Luke 2:10-14.

Silent Night speaks to us today. Those anticipatory moments before the first verse starts and the emotional moments after the last stanza ends reflect the Wonder of Christmas. The quiet wonder of a world-changing event. That moment of the Birth. A welcomed pause amidst the otherwise frantic-ness of the time leading to today’s Christmas and the clamor of Christmas Day.

Silent Night remains profound and popular for a reason–it speaks deeply to us and our recognition of the magnitude of the silent night 2000 years ago.

So, to paraphrase Scrooge’s nephew, “I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

—A peaceful, quiet, and joyous Christmas from QuietChurch.