This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. -Luke 2:12 (NIV)
Throw a rock in any direction, and you’ll hit at least three people who know the song Silent Night. Who doesn’t know it?
Well, there are babies. My son didn’t know it, or much of anything else, when he was a baby. When he was an infant, I discovered the Praise Baby series of DVDs, one of which was the Praise Baby: Joy to the World DVD. Naturally, Silent Night was one of the songs played on it.
As he got older, I had the opportunity to tell him the story that the song depicted:
Jesus’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, couldn’t find a guest room in Bethlehem. Mary gave birth to Jesus, and since there was nowhere else to put him, she wrapped Him in blankets and lay Him in a manger–an animal feeding receptacle!
Nearby, shepherds were out in the fields, watching over their flocks. An angel appeared, and God’s glorious light shone brightly around them, and they were scared. But the angel told them to not be afraid (a very common theme in the bible, no?), but to hear the good news: that, today, their Savior was born. And they would know it was Him because He would be wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger.
More angels appeared, and they all praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.”
After the angels went back up to Heaven, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus, and saw that everything the angel told them was true. So they spread the good news about Jesus, and everyone they told was amazed.
The magi from the east, who were led by a bright star to Jesus, brought gifts to him. They were told by King Herod to return to him and tell him where the baby was, but God had warned them in a dream to not go back, so they didn’t.
Sometimes I wonder how silent that night really was, since there may have been stable animals or livestock around. (Many of the details you see in a nativity scene aren’t actually mentioned in the bible.) However, aside from the heart-exploding excitement of laying eyes on my Savior, I’m also quite sure that there would also be a heavenly peace in my heart…the same one He always offers to us, no matter the circumstances.
“Silent Night,” as sung by acapella group Pentatonix, is a beautiful tribute to the sleeping infant savior.