by Bethany Hilt
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.
When thinking of the topic “The Gospel is Ultimate Rest”, Silent Night kept popping up in my head. I think that some of the words of this first verse give such a relaxing feeling, words like calm, silent, mild, sleep all invoke a feeling of restfulness. The song reminds us that Jesus came so we can rest in his peace.
I like to imagine that on that holy night, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds felt pure, absolute joy and gladness, knowing that the Savior they had been waiting for – God’s own son – had come to live among them. It would be hard to feel the weight of sin on that joyous night, rejoicing over their promised Messiah. I wish it was easier to have that same joy and peace in these days, but we wake up every morning to reminders in the news of the evil sin in our world and each day having to deal with our own and others sinful struggles. It is so easy to feel completely helpless and discouraged.
But in Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When we feel overwhelmed by sin, when we feel like we can’t possibly get everything right, Jesus tells us to come to him and he will carry our burdens. That is the only way we can possibly find rest in this earthly world. And it’s comforting to know that one day, when we’re with Jesus, every night will be calm and bright!
For Advent devotions this year, we are using Pastor Tim Keller’s themes in his new book Hidden Christmas