Was it a Silent Night?

On Christmas Eve, thousands of Christians will gather in their churches, candles in hand. A hushed reverence will encompass the rooms as they sing one of the most beloved Christmas songs- Silent Night.

But was it really? Was the night of Jesus’ birth, silent? Let’s take a moment and consider this; look at the locations effected by that Holy night.

Was the manger quiet? A stable…a barn, filled with animals. I don’t think so.

First of all, having been present at six births, I can tell you that maternity wards are far from quiet. Wasn’t Jesus a normal little baby? Wouldn’t He have cried? And though we romanticize the story (Christmas songs filled with images of doves cooing the Christ child to sleep, and cows gently mooing), my experience with barns say something else.

On top of that, Bethlehem was crowded, its borders stretched like rubber bands to their limits, because of the census. The inn was full, jammed full; not even room for a pregnant woman. No, the Bible never says the manger scene was silent.

But there are other locations to consider. What about on the spiritual plain? If we could have peeked through the veil, seen through the barrier between our world and that of spiritual beings, we’d have seen a world far from silent.

Hell, the abyss, the abode of the vile dragon, was not silent. On this night, the prince of liars howled with rage. It echoed above the anguished cries of those poor departed souls who’d allowed Satan to sear their hearts with his brand.

He’d tried his best to stop it from happening. He tried to plant the notion in Joseph’s head- Don’t marry Mary.

He misled the wise-men.

Then in a desperate act of vengeful frustration, he used a being, almost as maniacal as himself, Herod. Jesus was spared, yet all the toddlers in Bethlehem were ripped from their mothers’ sides and put to death.

In each case, when Satan attempted to destroy Jesus, God intervened.

When the child was born, when Satan realized his darkened world had been pierced with a Holy light, then, like a small, spoiled monster of a child, who throws himself on the floor and screams in defiance when he doesn’t get his own way, Hell shook with Satan’s fury. All of his tricks, all of his attempts to stop it from happening had failed.

Yes! Satan raged. He knew his end was near. He knew with the coming of that little baby, the fear of death, the fear of sin, they would be things of the past. No, Hell was not silent.

More shouts went up that night. Heaven was alive with noise; different from the anger of Hell. Heaven overflowed with the joy of the Lord. The Father’s plan was unfolding. His own Son was willing to give all so that God’s lost love, Mankind, could be loosed from the chains of sin, freed from slavery, freed from the fear of death and its penalty. God the Father smiled down from Heaven. No, Heaven wasn’t silent.

But more than that. The barrier, the wall between Heaven and earth, tore. For a time, the joy was so great, the walls of the celestial city could not contain it; could not hold God’s jubilation. It overflowed into the night sky above Bethlehem. Joy to the World!

The sky exploded. The angel’s shouted, “Glory to God in the highest!” The world, which was not only darkened by the night sky, but with the weight of sin, with a heavy burden of hatred, fear, sorrow, loss, lust, greed, envy, war, and every other chain that Satan could tie to the necks of the children of Adam, pulling them to their death… this world was seeing a Great Light.

The world, which was so lost in its sin, it couldn’t tell right from wrong, into this world Jesus had come, stabbing through the blackness, pointing a beacon of pure light to the very grace and mercy of God. Jesus, the son of God, King of kings had come. God, Himself, had entered the battle for men’s souls. In that one act He said, “I love you enough to walk with you.”


In that one act victory was secured. That little baby was the very Son of God. Very God Himself.

God looked down from a Heaven erupting with excitement. His glory shown all around the sky above the tiny hamlet. The Angels shouted the message.

A Silent Night? I don’t think so.

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