With the Dawn of Redeeming Grace

Silent Night. It’s considered the most well-known Christmas carol of all time. It’s been translated into more than 300 languages. People all over the world sing it each year and it’s a must for any candle lite Christmas Eve service. It’s a simple, beautiful song.

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round young virgin, mother and child
Holy infant so, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace!

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glories streams from heaven above
Heavenly hosts sings Hallelujah
Christ the savior is born,
Christ the savior is born!

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth!

During Oasis (high school youth group), we analyzed the lyrics of this song and studied Luke 2:1-20 to connect the song with the event as recorded in scripture. During the discussion a student ask about the meaning of the line “with the dawn of redeeming grace”. I’ve been stuck on this phrase ever since. What a beautiful, powerful statement about the meaning of Christmas. Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking:

  • The “dawn”. Dawn signifies something new. The moment when light breaks through the darkness. It’s breathtaking. When the night is long, we hold out hope for the dawn. 
  • “Redeeming”. To restore honor, worth, and reputation. God’s grace not only saves us from our sin, it redeems us!
  • “Grace”. Undeserved favor. We are freely loved by God. He chooses to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves.

May you experience the beauty and power of the dawn of redeeming grace this Christmas season.