Knowing me, you’d never imagine I would be the shy kid. But I was terrified of Kindergarten. My concerned mom walked to school with me each of those first days while I clutched an oversized, pink teddy bear for protection. Eventually, I settled in and “teddy” stayed behind.
A few months into school year, our afternoon class prepared for our Christmas program. The music teacher apparently wanted Silent Night on the program, but at that age no one could read and it was probably a difficult song for a 5-year-old to memorize. But, there was one child who knew the words. ME. So…not because I had a lovely singing voice, but because I was the only kid in class who knew the song, I was selected to sing it at our program. I didn’t think it was a big deal so I didn’t mention it to my mom. I imagine she was quite shocked and maybe a little proud of my progress since those first days of school.
The hymn was a favorite of my mom’s and of mine, as well. The lyrics have a way of transporting us right there to the stable the night of our Savior’s birth. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics written by Joseph Mohr in Austria in 1818. The congregation where I grew up (First Reformed Church in Aberdeen) would sing several songs in German, including Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! every Christmas season. That a 200+-year-old song continues to be a cherished tradition every Christmas proves that Christ is relevant and here among us.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas!