The Christmas carol "Silent Night" has a wonderful story behind it. It goes back to Christmas eve in the year 1818, to St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, in the Austrian Alps.
On that Christmas Eve, Father Joseph Mohr was getting ready for the midnight service when he discovered something that really upset him, the church's organ was broken.
The Christmas music for that evening was now in jeopardy. But then a wonderful thought came into his mind, to write a new song, one that could be sung without the organ. He sat down and wrote the words, "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright . . . "
He then took the words to his organist, Franz Gruber, and asked him to compose a simple tune. So that evening, "Silent Night" was sung for the first time as a duet, accompanied by a guitar.
What a good story. On a Christmas Eve in the year 1818, when everything was falling apart and the pastor was at the end of his rope, this beautiful carol was written.
Here is the truth: If that organ had never been broken, we would have never come to know the song, “Silent Night.” The Gospel reminds us that in the middle of our own brokenness, there is the possibility of new life. I am so thankful that God can work miracles in those who are broken.