When the penniless priest, Joseph Mohr, penned the words to the song Silent Night in 1816, he didn't even put them to music. He never dreamed that his song would be "The Song Heard Around the World." In 1818, he had his friend, Franz Gruber put down the chords for guitar accompaniment. That year at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the congregation of St Nicholas Church listened in awe as their young priest and choir director sang the beautiful carol for the first time.
The carol became a standard at the St. Nicholas Church, and soon gained fame. Singing groups from all around began to perform the song, and its fame eventually spread all around the world. But Mohr died before he ever saw the fame of the carol. But his message lives on. The message of grace and redemption that inspired him to write the song. The third verse has always been my favorite:
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.
Jesus' birth signifies the birth of grace. John 1:14 tells us, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
Jesus was God's Word made flesh. He fulfilled the promises of God to man. He made of way of redemption for our sins. Romans 3:23-25 says, "23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"
Though we have all sinned, Jesus offered us grace. He paid for our redemption with His blood. All we have to do is accept His gift.
And it all started on one "Silent Night!"