started his rise to power. Which means that for most of Joseph’s life there was political turmoil in Europe, followed by war. No wonder a walk home on a quiet night inspired this young priest to praise God with song. It was one of those precious and rare moments when looking out over his village all was calm.
Over the years, I’ve studied more on the history of this beloved song. The version we sing here in the U.S. is only three verses long, but the original song had six verses and was performed for the first time with just a guitar and a few voices. Like most hymns or worship songs, the author tries to convey some attribute of God in each verse, which I have highlighted here in a simple list.
This song was not just about one peaceful night, but about the Lord of Peace. That little baby born in a stable was holy, our Savior, Lord, salvation for all. He came to embrace us and fulfill a promise from God for peace.
I’ve come to realize that although Joseph was inspired by a peaceful night in his Austrian village, what he sang to his congregation was a song of true peace. Peace that comes from God - not circumstances. So often we live surrounded by some form of trouble. Our peace is shattered or stolen, there is no calm, and the future seems bleak. Yet if God has declared goodwill toward us, if He saw fit to promise us peace, and then fulfill that promise with Jesus, then truly all can be calm and bright.
This Christmas, I pray we all remember that special night when a baby was given to us and the angels declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14
In His Name, Bonnie