One of my favorite stories of the impact of Silent Night, Holy Night* is when British and German soldiers stopped their fighting during World War I to sing this song into the night air. It did not stop the war, but it did provide a moment of peace in an otherwise deadly conflict.
In churches today, this carol is often sung at the close of services on Christmas Eve, as congregants light candles and stop to think about the true meaning of the holiday. Silent Night is always followed by a moment of quiet. The song seems to hang in the air, enveloping all who sing with its message of calm and peace.
During the holiday season, during the year for that matter, we have so few moments of quiet, calm or peace. Let me tell you a secret — there’s someone who wants to keep it that way — and he’s not in the Christmas story. The more he can keep us busy, preoccupied, worried and even sad during this time of year, the less we worship and share the good news about why we even celebrate Christmas.
That’s why we need this song. We need to be reminded of that silent, holy night; that in his presence, darkness flies; all is light. He alone is Savior and Lord.
Reflect on this song, sing it more than once this season, and see if it doesn’t calm your own weary soul and draw you nearer to God in worship. You’ll be blessed if you do.
*This gives a good visual of the WWI story. Plus, I love chocolate! 🙂
*WORDS: Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848; tr. st. 1,3, John Freeman Young, 1820-1885; tr. st. 2,4 Anonymous. MUSIC: Franz Gruber, 1787-1863.