Note: This Christmas will mark the 200th anniversary of the first singing of "Silent Night."
"Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son..." (Isa. 7:14).
"Silent Night" may well be the most beloved Christmas carol. It dates back to the year 1818. The English translation of the German original contains the following lines:
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
I admit that for many years I have happily sung these words without really understanding their meaning - in particular, "Round yon." Maybe you can relate!
After studying the matter, I offer this simple explanation. The sentence can be understood as though it were written, "All is calm, all is bright around yonder virgin mother and child."
"Yon" is a poetic little adjective telling us that a virgin mother and her baby are "just over there, not far." It's as though we are being pointed in the direction of the stable from which is coming a calm and a light. Let us go!
The world, as we know, can be a dark and troubled place. Christmas reveals the only Source of lasting peace and hope for such a world: the Child born of a virgin mother.
Let us sing sweetly of this hope!