A joyful Christmas eve day to you! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Perhaps the most beloved Christmas carol of all times is Silent Night by Fanz Xaver Gruber and Father Joseph Mohr. Most church services seem to have this carol sung on Christmas eve at the close of the candle light service and we hear it sung in many Christmas programs and movies etc. Father Mohr actually wrote the poem in 1816 when he was an assistant priest in Mariapfarr. It was first sung at mass in his small village church in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818. There had been damage to the organ from flooding and so they needed a simple song that could be accompanied by guitar. Father brought the words to Gruber on Christmas eve and asked him to compose a melody with guitar accompaniment for the mass that evening. Karl Mauracher, an organ builder who had tried to fix the organ, loved the song and took it home with him. Thereafter, two families of traveling folk singers, The Strassers and the Rainers, sang it in their shows and the message of the song reached around the world. I read on Crosswalk. com that it was also sung in 1914 during WWI in a very unusual circumstance. There seemed to be a break between battles as the English, French and German soldiers were waiting for the next round of gunfire. But they were surprised as there was an unexpected cease fire, and in some places, they crossed the enemy lines and played games, smoked cigarettes and even exchanged gifts with one another. But even as they celebrated together, they also knew in a short time they would be fighting one another again. But for now, they sang the carols and the words seem to especially resonate with the soldiers as they sang, “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.”  The soldiers must have hoped and prayed even in the midst of the bloody war, that there would be another silent night, a time of peace. Our world seems to be in such chaos right now and we must also make it our prayer for His peace to reign. The answer came 2000 years ago when the shepherd’s quiet night was interrupted by an angel message of our Savior being born and angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors!” Luke 2:14 (NRSV)
Challenge for today: Spend some time in quiet worship of the Prince of Peace
Blessings on your Christmas and prayers and love, Judy