Silent Night

Read Together: Luke 2:1–20

We have all read or heard the Christmas story many times over the years, and we sing about it each year in many of the traditional Christmas carols. Many of these carols have become so familiar that we often gloss over the actual lyrics in favor of the sentimental feelings they give us. But Christmas is not about sentimentality or nostalgia. It’s about the “good news of great joy” that “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” has been born (Luke 2:10–11). And many of the Christmas carols we listen to and sing capture this good news in different ways.

One such Christmas carol is “Silent Night.” As with other Christmas songs, we might quibble over some of the details of this classic hymn, like: was the night really silent? Did “radiant beams” literally shine forth from the infant Jesus’ face? And while there may be a place for these criticisms, they miss the point of the song. The night Jesus was born was silent in the sense that it was just an ordinary night to the rest of the world. Jesus is indeed “love’s pure light,” the light of the world.

With Jesus’ birth came the “dawn of redeeming grace.” Jesus’ birth was the dawn of his work of redeeming us from sin by his grace. For he is the Messiah, the Savior who brings peace to God’s people. And even at his birth, he is Lord, worthy of all our worship and devotion.

Loaded into this classic Christmas carol is the good news of Christmas. So, as we listen to and sing Christmas carols like “Silent Night” during this season, let’s reflect on what they’re actually saying and rejoice in the good news that Christ, the Savior is born!

Discussion Questions

  1. How is the birth of Jesus good news of great joy (Luke 2:10)?
  2. Read or listen to the lyrics of “Silent Night.” How does this classic Christmas carol capture the good news of Christmas?
  3. How should we respond to this good news of great joy?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “He’s Here!” in The Jesus Storybook Bible (pages 176–83).
  • Ask your children: What’s your favorite Christmas carol/song? Talk about Christmas songs and highlight ones that communicate the good news of Christmas.

Memorization: “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10–11)

Song: Listen to “Silent Night” (performed by Shane and Shane).

Pray Together

  • Praise God for his love and grace revealed in the Christmas story!
  • Confess before God that we are often distracted during this season from the significance of Christ’s coming.
  • Give thanks to God that Jesus has come as the “dawn of redeeming grace.”
  • Pray that God would fill us with great joy in Christ because of what he has done and that we would be ready and willing to share this good news of great joy with others.

Go Together

  • Make a plan this week to set aside some time on Christmas day to read, listen to, and reflect on the good news of great joy that Christmas is all about. Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1–2 and Luke 1–2 or reflect on the coming of Jesus by reading John 1:1–18 or Hebrews 1. We also encourage you to attend our worship service on Christmas day at 9:45 AM. Don’t let the day pass quickly by without quieting your hearts before God and praising him for his indescribable gift of his Son.   
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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