December 5, 2010

So I began this week of PEACE by attending a worship service where they celebrated by lighting the candle of LOVE.  One of us is mixed up.  I’m going to just pretend that it is them.  It was still a good service, but I think the week of  The Birth is when we need to talk about love.  So lets light the candle of peace together, and lets not fight about it, OK?

Probably the earliest song in my memory is Silent Night.  It was sung in my home, in my church, even my school.  Today Mannheim Steamroller’s instrumental version of Silent Night is the prettiest carol of the season, the solo violin almost always brings a tear to my eye. tells us:  “The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time.”

But you probably knew all that.  In the midst of Here Comes Santa Clause,  Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and Deck The Halls, Silent Night rings with an honesty and sincerity, a purity even, that most carols lack.  It takes us all to the manger, gives us a look at the Baby, the Prince of Peace, and it brings a bit of peace into our life – heavenly peace.

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

In the business of the coming weeks, reflect on the teenage mother and her child, resting amongst the animals.  Not porcelain, or olive wood, or papier mache, but real, live animals.  Just like the mall, filled with animals, find peace with the Infant.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

I don’t care how where you read about them, angels, even joyful proclaiming, angels are scary, enough to make wolf fighting shepherds quake in their sandals.  But when the shepherds stopped quaking and started listening, they responded, “Let us go and see what the angels were talking about.’  And they found the Savior, and they found peace.

I wonder how their lives were different after that.

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 ”

So bring out your guitar, gather the family around the manger scene, and rest in the peace of God and joy of the season.


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