Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

There is something severely probing about the mission of Adolf Hitler as it relates to a nation of people who have given the world such a great and timeless legacy in it’s wealth of theological writings.

Again, to Germany for what has been said to be ‘the song heard round the world’. Perhaps so because a ‘Silent Night’ is one where no gun shots are heard. No drones, no bombs, no gas chambers. No sirens, no shelter alerts, no amber alerts or emergency vehicle movement. No fires raging, no storm tossed seas, tsunami, typhoon or volcano eruptions. No domestic conflict with all of it’s intense threats of violence, bodily harm and death. No speeding cars ‘riding by’ with the threat and fear of an unknown outcome. No protests. No police brutality and injustice. No cries, no screams. NO??? You kNOw…

Joseph Mohr was a priest at St. Nicholas Church in Austria when in 1818 he sang a song for Christmas which he had written for his guitar. He invited the Church’s organist, Franz Gruber to accompany him and the Choir joined in at the double refrain ending of each verse: “Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.” “Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.”

Young’s Analytical Concordance, one of my most important tools used in the study of all things Bible, references the 3 vastly different words for ‘silent’ in New Testament: #1 ‘hesuchia’ (Acts 22:2) and (I Timothy 2:11-12); #2 ‘sige’ (Acts 15:12; 21:40), (I Corinthians 14:28; 34) and (Revelations 2:1); and #3 ‘phimoo’ (Matthew 22:34) and (I Peter 2:15). These three words are so rare and so disconnected that it came to me as total surprise to see that Kittel’s makes no reference to any of these words. The word ‘silent/silence’ is void in his entire 10 volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament! Women… in the Church? We have been bamboozled!!! Now I understand more clearly why there is NO SILENCE for me… in The Church!

To reverence the Birth of Jesus The Christ, this hymn has come to be one of the most sung songs of the Christmas season for the universal Church and the world. Recorded by so many of the world’s greatest choirs and artists, it now has the capacity of reaching the very depth of the soul. Christmas Theatricals and Christmas Musicals have ended the telling and re-telling of the story with this hymn, enjoining the audiences, often with the lighting of individual candles, sharing a spiritual warmth that these lyrics give. Persons have looked into the lighted flame in singing“Silent Night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light;Radiant beams from Thy holy face, With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
And the verse that did not make it’s way into many hymnals:
“Silent Night, holy night, Wondrous Star, lend thy light,
With the Angles let us sing, Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Saviour is born, Christ the Saviour is born”.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a ‘Silent Night’.

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