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Friday, December 25, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Song Stories: Silent Night

For me, Christmas doesn't seem as much like the special holiday that it is unless we sing "Silent Night," and it's been that way for most Christians for the past two hundred years.

In 1818, Josef Mohr watched a Christmas play at a parishioner's home in Oberndorf, Austria, apparently a moving production by some roving actors. Instead of his usual direct route home, he took a longer path, stopping at the top of a hill to gaze down at the quiet, snow-covered village below.

That's when he remembered a poem he'd written some time before. He took the poem to the church organist, Franz Xaver Gruber. Within a few hours, they had Heilige Nacht done, and they performed it for Christmas Eve service, using Franz's guitar because the church's organ was not working.

Weeks later, a man came to repair the organ, and they tested it using the new Christmas carol. He loved the song and took it back to his home church where it went over so well that singing groups took it here and there all over Europe, until now it is sung in three hundred different languages. It was translated into English by either Jane Campbell or John Young.

Listen to "Silent Night" HERE.

Lord, this is such a beautiful, reverent song, perfect to sing for Christmas eve while holding a candle in a darkened church. I know, we can sing it anywhere, anytime, but it's especially awe-striking that way. We are so blessed that You came to us. Thank You!
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