Monday, December 22, 2008
Silent Night Holy Night?
I've heard that St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf Germany is where the song we know as "Silent Night" composed by Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr was first sung in 1818.
Silent Night--Dr. Jim Schaap wrote in his blog that Christ didn't show up with a pleasant knock on the door. He said "Jesus intrudes into our humdrum, shocking us with his sudden presence." In the beginning was the Word and the Words were from Christ, not with a knock but with power, and whoosh in 60 million years or 6 thousand years or 6 days the world was. That's what we know about God, He draws, asserts and changes. It was the same thing the day God said it was time and Christ was born. A quiet knock? Hardly. With a rush of dragons and Angelic swords and fists in the midst of eternity Christ came.
He might have come silently, maybe he didn't cry? Maybe he came on December 25th in the midst of a perfect Middle Eastern snow. But I don't think so.
Maybe we got one night of peace before Joseph had his dream to flee to Egypt, before the wise men received their dream to take a different route, before Herod murdered a throng of children? Maybe the wail of the hungry was not heard that night? Maybe thieves remained in their lair? Maybe we got one silent night before Rome tortured the Jews and it's own people, before the Pharisees plotted to kill Jesus? Maybe we got one silent night before Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Saddam Hussein? Maybe we had a few quiet moments before Sarajevo, Darfur, Ethiopia, and Columbia? It's possible we had a moment before Columbine. Maybe there was one single night before 9/11/2001 when silence reigned. Maybe the Angels got a few z's before 11 Israeli Athletes were murdered at the world's ultimate celebration of peace, the 1972 Olympics. Before Nero and many others burned and tortured Christians, maybe time stood still for one night?
Maybe the Angels took one night off? Maybe the rocks were not crying out? Maybe all of creation does not groan and plead for the day of the Lord? Maybe that night Simeon and Anna were not fervently praying that the Messiah would come soon? Maybe the Elect gave God one night for His angels to gather in a happy sing-a-long. Or maybe not.
I'm quite sure the night was not silent, but deafening. The night was not silent, but it was most holy.