My hope and prayer for you is that you’ll enjoy the simplicity of Christmas. Keeping it simple - it’s hard to do. After all, there’s a myriad of Christmas songs on iHeart Radio, and the guy down the block that decorates like Clark Griswold and thinks it’s a good idea, not to mention Lifetime Movie Network’s endless parade of Christmas stories. I’m a guy so I can say this: “If you’ve seen one Lifetime movie . . . (fellas, you finish the phrase). Don’t get me wrong, I like Christmas. I just think it’s hard to avoid the tug and pull of trying to create a “picture perfect Christmas.” There is value in keeping it simple.
80-year-old’s understand simplicity. They love old stories, pictures, and seeing others experience joy. At Thanksgiving, I asked my mom what her Christmas was like as a young girl growing up in Iowa. She said, “Well, we didn’t have a Christmas tree until I was a teenager. Typical gifts were an apple, and a real Christmas treat was an orange. One year we all got a bag of candy!” Mom’s Christmas childhood memories were simple.
I think that’s why my favorite Christmas carol is SILENT NIGHT. It’s easy to sing and memorable. It’s probably been used as the musical backdrop for more Christmas Eve Candlelight Services than one could imagine! SILENT NIGHT had a humble, simple beginning.
“Stille Nacht” was first presented as a musical offering in 1818 at a Christmas Eve service in the Austrian village of Oberndorf. Father Joseph Mohr had written the lyrics the year before and Franz Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, wrote the melody.
Father Mohr asked Gruber to write the piece using a guitar accompaniment. Details vary, but legend has it that the reason it was written for guitar was because the church pipe organ was broken. Together, Mohr and Gruber performed the new carol during the candlelight mass at St. Nicholas parish on December 24, 1818.
“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 above
Heavenly hosts sing “Alleluia!”
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born.”
And that, is the simple, miraculous story of Christmas. “Emmanuel”, God with us. On behalf of the staff and elders of Fellowship Bible Church, we wish you a simple and hope-filled Christmas! Blessings to you!