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SILENT NIGHT, THE STORY OF
On Christmas Eve 1818, the German carol Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! was
sung for the very first time in St. Nikolaus Church in the tiny village of
Oberndorf, eight miles north of Salzburg, Austria. The popularity of
Silent Night can almost be termed miraculous. There was no celebrity to
sing t the world premiere and no mass-communication system to spread the
songs fame. Yet its composer reported that the simple
composition instantly met with approval. It has since gone on to become
one of the most beloved carols.
We may never know the exact circumstances, but before that Christmas Eve
service, the young priest Joseph Mohr asked organist Franz Gruber to compose
a tune to accompany his lyrics, a poem Mohr had written two years earlier.
Around 1819, an organ builder from Fugen, named Carl Maraucher, heard about
the carol when he was in Oberndorf. He liked the carol so much that he
brought Silent Night! back with him to his home town, and from there it
spread all over the world, reaching American shores for the first time in
1939, when the Rainer singers from Austria performed it in New York City.
Its powerful message of heavenly peace has crossed all borders and language
barriers, having been translated into over 300 languages. Now, nearly 200
years later, Silent Night! is an anchor for Christmas celebrations
throughout the world.
As you consider the angels proclamation: For unto you is born this day in
the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11), remember
that these words are for you, just as much as they were for the shepherds
who first heard them. Jesus birth in Bethlehem on that silent night
signaled the beginning of His earthly mission to save us from our sins.
This mission included the sacrificial death on the cross, His glorious
resurrection on Easter morning, and His ascension into heaven forty days
later to reign as the eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And the
reason for His coming to earth? Love. He loved us that much! For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
><>Merry Christmas / Happy Birthday Jesus .. jeannie<><
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