Thursday, December 10, 2009


I know it has been a while since I have written in my blog. I intend to do better in the future. I wanted to share an article I wrote for our church bulletin this week. I hope you enjoy it.

If I had to choose one Christmas Carol as a favorite, I think I would choose “Silent Night” by Joseph Mohr. Mohr was a Roman Catholic priest and served a parish high in the Alps near Salzburg, Germany in the late 1800’s. He felt that there needed to be more hymns to celebrate the Christmas season. He wrote this and taught it to a friend and they taught it to the congregation in their little village. They never intended the song to be known outside of the little mountain village. However, an organ repairman came through to do some maintenance on the church organ and heard the song being sung. Intrigued he copied the words and music and shared it with others in the places he worked. The popularity of the song spread quickly and has now been translated from its original German into every major language in the world.
I especially like the second verse of the song which reads:
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!
Luke tells us (Luke 2:10) that the angel who appeared to the shepherds said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” The word translated ‘good news’ in the passage is the Greek word ‘evangelidzo’ from which we take our word evangelism. They had no idea how good was this good news. The prophet Isaiah said of this child born in the City of David that “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
That continues to be good news. This is the time of year Christians of all denominations and genres remember the incredible mission of that little one lying in a manger. Our hearts are touched by the suffering he must endure. Our lives are changed by the fact that he did.
Too often we see evangelism as convincing people of the accuracy our belief system when really like the angels, all Christians have ever been asked to do is shine God’s glory to earth and point to what He has done.
Let the miracle of His birth, the fact of His sacrifice and the completeness of His grace and love do the work of changing hearts and lives. That was then, is now and forever will be the good news.