growing up, “Silent Night” was always one of my favorite Christmas songs. especially the Mannheim Steamroller version. at the end of the song, it felt like you were on top of a mountain on the night Christ was born, looking down, taking in all the holiness. and then, there are some sleigh bells jingling in the distance…i always felt like that was a subversive nod to Santa.
the problem is, i don’t feel as though the night Christ was born was all that silent.
actually, i wonder if he was even born at night. Luke 2 says he was born…and placed in a manger…because there was no guest room available for him. but it doesn’t say this occurred at night.
it does go on to say there were angels close by keeping watch over their flocks…at night. (Luke 2:8) and then the angel makes this declaration: “Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you.” (2:11)
the baby had been born “today.”
now, day or night, it doesn’t really matter. i’m sure, either way, it wasn’t a silent night…what with all the racket the one angel was making. and then he was joined by “a great company of the heavenly host.” (2:13)
nothing silent about that.
however, i like to think that sometime in the day or night, God blessed Mary and Joseph with a few silent moments with their baby. before the angels. before the shepherds. before the first diaper blowouts. there were moments.
moments where there is nobody else.
no nurses or doctors or family members.
those moments are what turn silent (or not so silent) nights in to holy nights.