she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and
laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
few years ago, lights from the Christmas tree reflected on my piano’s glossy
surface as I opened my new music book, a gift from our church, to one of my
favorite Christmas carols, “Silent Night.” My husband wanted to watch the news
on TV, so I plugged in the headphones that directed sound from the electronic
instrument to my ears only.
This arrangement of “Silent Night” began simply with the soothing melody.
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.
I played on, following the written score as it added harmonies, point and counterpoint.
Silent night, holy night.
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born.
But then the newscast behind me intruded. Some poor homeless
man had been found nearly frozen to death. War had erupted in two more areas,
details to follow. Financial gurus predicted hardships in the New Year. On and
on, bad news assaulted my ears as my fingers played.
The contrast jarred me. Today, we endure a pandemic and global political unrest and misjustice, but wars, brutality, tragedy were just as prevalent when Jesus took on mortality. Consider what happened shortly after the visitation from the wise man: Herod ordered all little boys up to two years of age to be slaughtered. Oh, the horror! The incredible grief! Where childish laughter had filled the air, screams of agony rang.
I shook my head with the awareness that dreadful
times are nothing new. The world needed and still needs the healing comfort of
redemption, which only comes through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
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.
The dawn of redeeming grace is God’s gift to us. Hardships and trauma still surround us and affect us, but because Jesus gave up Heaven’s glory to live in our mess, we have hope. What a wonderful reason to celebrate!
Thank you, dear Jesus, for coming to earth as a helpless baby to save us from our sins and give us hope, joy and peace.
May the blessing of Christmas bring hope for the future, peace in all circumstances and joy every day to you and yours. Amen.
Kathleen Friesen has always loved to lose herself in a good story, especially tales of love and faith that overcome. These days, she'll often get lost in her current work in progress, whatever it may be. Kathleen's stories invite the reader to risk faith, dare to love, and enjoy the results.
When she’s not at the keyboard, you can find Kathleen gardening,
visiting with friends old and new, or helping her husband renovate their house.
When the renovations are finally done, there may be a party.