A Holy Night

Picture of Eric Heuer

Eric Heuer

Staff writer, River City Church.

The lights dimmed. A hush fell over the congregation. As candles passed from one warm hand to another, I could feel tears welling up, even as a young child. This was the moment I waited for all season long. Voices rose over candlelit faces. The wonder and divine magic of Jesus’ birth was here, filling the church through the simple words of the sweet hymn. For those few minutes, it truly was a Holy Night.

Matthew and Luke detail the events of that long-ago night. The Truth spelled out in their stories is forever cemented in the hearts of so many brothers and sisters through the verses of Silent Night.

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

Imagining what it was like for those shepherds is nearly impossible. The sheer intensity of what must’ve been sensory overload- how can our finite brains begin to comprehend? One day, we will see and know! 1 Corinthians 13 promises us, “now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” We will experience abundantly more than the shepherds experienced, and on that day, the glories streaming from heaven will never cease. Two thousand years ago, Christ our Savior was born. Someday, Christ our King will return. Yet even as we wait, He is here, indwelling us through his Spirit.

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

After what may have been a long, hard labor and delivery in a dusty, dirty stable, the Son of God, love’s pure light, arrived. With only Joseph and a few animals as witnesses, the Lord, Creator of the world, the Messiah, Immanuel – entered humanity in the humblest way.

I wonder if Mary remembered the song she sang on the way to meet Elizabeth so many months ago. Is this part of what she treasured up and pondered in her heart (Luke 2:19)?

“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
-Luke 1:46-48

As we continue to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, allow these words to soak deep into your heart and mind. Pray Mary’s song over yourself and your family. As you gather with family and friends who haven’t accepted Jesus as Savior, take some time to do exactly what 1 Peter 3:15 tasks: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

Merry Christmas, Sisters. May you embrace the wonder and divine magic of Jesus’ birth in fresh, new ways this week, and in the year to come.

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