Psalm 4:8 – I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. (KJV)
Luke 19:38 – Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. (KJV)
A little parcel came through my mail recently. It contained three CDs of original, authentic Slovak music — one of which contained Christmas songs and carols. Although I neither read nor speak Slovak, as soon as I heard Ticha Noc, I recognized the beautiful, familiar melody of Silent Night being sung in my father-in-law's mother tongue.
Now deceased, he was the only one of his family to have emigrated to Canada. A relative had lovingly sent the parcel to me, to us, that we might keep the music in his language close to our hearts.
Close to my heart also is Silent Night, which I have in several languages, because no matter whether we understand the words, the carol is most beautiful, and for me, it symbolizes my mother's passing one early Christmas morning, years ago.
Mum was quite an accomplished pianist/organist, and God's gift of music is that it is the international language. Perhaps the most poignant example of that is one time, years ago, when our friends' parents were visiting from Greece. They spoke no English, and we, no Greek, but Mum sat down and played some familiar old hymn tunes, which we all sang, young and old, two different languages, one common thread.
They are all passed on now — our parents, our friends' parents — each one of them true to their faith, strengthened by their love of God, each one "sleeping in heavenly peace".
God has blessed us with the gift of music, no matter where we are. With this gift, we have common hymns and carols, and although the words may be different, the tunes connect us to each other and to Him.
This Christmas, let us take a moment to reflect on the words of Ticha Noc or Silent Night. Let us envision that night, lo those many years ago, when most people had lain down for a peaceful night's sleep in the safety of their homes, when a miraculous birth took place in a lowly manger stall.
Prayer: God of grace and light, we give You thanks for the international gift of music that brings us together to You. We thank You for the safety of Your love, and give all glory to You, in the highest. Through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
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