Friday, December 19, 2008

The Greatest Story Ever Told

It's so amazing and wonderful that one story can bring people all over the world together every year at this time.

The story of how the well-loved hymn Silent Night brought even enemies together one Christmas long ago has always fascinated me.
It was 1914, and the world was in an uproar, in the midst of World War I. A truce had been made on Christmas Eve. German troops had gotten in the Christmas spirit and had started to sing Stille Nacht or Silent Night. The enemy troops on the other side heard them and started singing the song in English. Can you imagine being a soldier in those trenches that cold, starry night and hearing your enemy sing the very song you had just sung, only in his own language? Soon, both sides had come together to celebrate. They even had opportunity to mourn the dead and give some of them the burial that they deserved, instead of being left on the bloody battleground, seemingly forgotten amidst the roar of the battle. The Christmas Truce had brought together men who had been just a few hours before, fighting each other to the death. It was a night of peace, brought on by truly the greatest story ever told. We can deny that Christmas is about Christ, but never forget that without Christ in Christmas, we are left with nothing but meaningless letters. He is the reason we can celebrate today and the reason there was peace on that lone night in the history of World War I.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

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!

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.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!


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