Hymn 91, Silent Night
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
Silent Night is my favorite Christmas song of all time. Each time I hear it or sing it, it leads me into a deep and intimate time of worship and reflection upon God’s great gift. The original title is Stille Nacht, which is German for silent night. The words were originally a poem written by Joseph Mohr, who asked his friend Franz Gruber to compose a tune, so the song could be sung at Mohr’s Christmas service in 1818.
The text of the song is simple, recounting the night of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The silence of the night is broken by the dawning of the Light of the World. The angels sing, “Hallelujah, hail the King!” The Lord announces His arrival by the voices of the heavenly hosts. Christ the Savior is born.
So often, we are afraid of silence. We fill every waking moment with noise. Yet, may we hear the Lord call us to silence. He says, “Be still.” In our stillness we find silence. In that silence, we hear the Lord. It is through the silence that God reveals Himself and makes Himself known. Just as on the night of His arrival on earth, He is exalted—among the nations and in all the earth. There is no need to fear the silence. Instead, let us embrace it, knowing that in the silence we will meet the Lord, hear Him speak, and worship Him.
Tomorrow, our church gathers to worship the newborn King. As we gather, we will sing praise to the Lord. We will break the silence with worship and praise. We will exalt the name of Jesus. O worship the King!
Dr. Troy Allen