We’ve sung the words of the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ since we were very young. But those words don’t actually come from Scripture. ‘Silent Night’ was a poem written by an Austrian priest in 1816. The words paint a peaceful picture with the happy couple watching their newborn baby. But it’s unlikely that there really would have been silence. After an exhausting journey on a donkey, Joseph and the very pregnant Mary didn’t check into the master suite of the Bethlehem Grand Hotel. They begged the use of an animal shelter, complete with the clatter and scents of barnyard animals – anything but silent! Even with the help of modern pain-reducing medicines and sterilised environments, even the bravest woman rarely remains silent while giving birth. For Mary, Joseph, and Jesus – this was hardly a silent night! ‘Oh, Holy night’: of all the nights in history, this was the most holy. God set in motion His eternal plan to come to earth as the Redeemer of lost people. ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them’ (2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJV). Jesus came to take on Himself the sins of doomed humanity, so ‘that we might become the righteousness of God in Him’ (v. 21 NKJV). It doesn’t get any holier than that! ‘All is calm, all is bright’: on that holiest of nights, our spiritual and moral darkness was driven away forever by Jesus, the Light of the World. And our fears as lost sinners were replaced by the peace and joyful assurance that we are His eternally forgiven people.