Theme of the Week: Christmas Carols
Bible Verse: “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” Acts 28:31
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-14
Silent Night is written in the same time signature as many lullabies. I can’t count how many times as a child I almost drifted off to sleep at a Christmas Eve service as the warm melody of this carol drifted through the rafters.
Supposedly, the carol was first heard at a Christmas Eve service in 1818.
A young Austrian priest at St. Nicholas Church was distraught. When preparing for the evening service he found the organ wasn’t working—mice had been eating at the instrument and it was too late to fix the damage.
Out of desperation, Joseph Mohr pulled out a poem he had written, ‘Stille Nacht,’ and asked a local teacher, Franz Xavez Gruber to help him put it to music.
While the organ did not ring out like it normally would on a Christmas Eve service at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf bee Salzburg, in its place was the sound of Silent Night for the first time.
To me, that story is a beautiful reminder of how things don’t always turn out the way we expect them to.
Mohr could’ve canceled the evening service, called the whole thing bad luck, and tried again the next weekend. But he didn’t. I would’ve loved to listen in on the prayers he must’ve prayed that afternoon. Hear him beg God to send someone to fix the instrument, and maybe with some resignation asking that God would still bless the service and that he could still be a blessing to his neighbours.
In a radical answer to prayer, even if he would never see the full scope of that answer, God blessed the world with an achingly beautiful song that has encouraged generations of people on countless Christmas Eve services.
It’s uncomfortable when we feel out of control, but each setback is an opportunity to reaffirm that God is always at work.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your hand in my life. Even though I make my plans, I know it is Your hand that guides my steps. Help me feel Your presence in every moment of uncertainty and anxiety and see how You are at work in all things.
Reflection: The next time you face a setback, stop and ask, “God, what do you have in store for me?” It might finally be the margin that God needs in our tightly controlled and scheduled lives to show up in a big way and teach us something new.
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