Due to COVID-19, this holiday season serves as an opportunity for me to wind down, reflecting on 2021 and making plans for 2022. As the rhythm of “Silent Night” hit again, a thought comes to my mind. How possibly the night of birth of Jesus be a night of “silence.” Any parents would know the first night of newborn is anything but silent.
There are two passages in the Bible that describe the birth of Jesus, none of them mention anything about a silent night. (Matthew 2:11; Luke 2:8-18). On the contrary, Mary and Joseph seem rather busy that night, having a new-born in the manger and greeting the angel-informed shepherds shortly afterwards.
The concept of silent night was more contributed to the Christmas carol written in 1816, with the title as “Silent Night, Holy Night”. This carol was written by Joseph Mohr, a young Austrian priest. The song gained popularity in years later, and the concept of silent night has deeply entrenched worldwide ever since.
According to an article posted on Theology of Work (www.theologyofwork.org), “The title of this popular carol is not based on any expressed detail of the biblical Christmas story. We're never told that the night Jesus was born was silent.” Instead, the call for silence is believed in relations to the holiness of the night. "The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him." (Habakkuk 2:20) The born of Jesus signified Lord’s physical presence, which was certainly holy. (Source: www.theologyofwork.org)
"The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him." (Habakkuk 2:20)
Should I be present on that night, for sure I will hold my breath and be in total silence simply in awe of the mystical wonder. The perspective brought about by the lyrics make me appreciate this carol even more, what a beautiful and poetic way to describe the birth of Jesus.
Christmas should carry a meaning more than just any other holidays. I wish you a peaceful Christmas filled with love and serenity. Merry Xmas.