“You have found it!  The right song!  God be praised!” said the organist to Priest Joseph Mohr at a Catholic Church in the Austrian Alps just before Christmas 1818.  The organ had broken down, and the Priest and his musician were trying to compose a song that would be fitting the majesty of Christmas, but would not require the booming sound of the organ.  The simple song that was written (to be accompanied by a guitar), was “Silent Night.”  This Christmas, this song celebrates its 201st birthday!  What a gift born out of necessity.

Two things come to mind when I learned of the origin story for this song:

  1. “Contemporary” styled Church music (with guitars and other instruments) have been around a long time!
  2. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Just think, if the organ had not broken, this song might never have been written.  As a Pastor who has planned a lot of Christmas services, I can only imagine that the broken organ was a major inconvenience and potentially a discouragement during the holiday season.  But God took this challenge and (in the midst of it) gave the church an enduring gift.

Romans 8:28 reflects on the sovereignty of God by saying, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”  God is able to take the broken instruments in our lives and work through them to make a beautiful song.

As you sing “Silent Night” this year, remember where it came from.  Think about the things in your life right now that seem out of tune.  Trust the Lord to work through them for good.

Silent Night

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!


To access all 31 days of the “Christmas Light” Devotional, click here.

To access the “Christmas Light” Playlist:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.