Labor of Love (December 4)

Wayne —  December 4, 2011 — Leave a comment

Dec4To view the entire 2011 Christmas Carol Advent check out our Christmas Carol Advent index page.

Video

Story Behind the Song

This song first appeared on Andrew Petersen’s 2004 Christmas album Behold the Lamb of God. The song was written by Andrew with vocals performed by Jill Phillips.

Commentary & Analysis

Rarely have I come across contemporary music as theologically sounds and deep as that of Andrew Peterson, and his Christmas album is no exception. You will see several songs from the album featured on this year’s Christmas Carol Advent.

From the very get go, this song dispels some common myths about Christmas.

“It was not a silent night.”

The birth of Jesus was no different from a physical standpoint than any other child’s birth. I been at several myself, and they all involve some blood and some screaming. Mary was a young girl giving birth to her first boy with little or no help in an unsanitary surrounding. It is interesting that we tend to ignore this aspect of Jesus’ birth in favor of a more tranquil “silent night” themed image. In the words at the end of the chorus (which also serve as the title of the song), we are reminded that this was a “Labor of Love.” No doubt, there is a double meaning here as it was a labor of love both on the part of Mary and, of course, on the part of God Himself.

Questions for Further Reflection / Devotion

  1. God did not choose to send Jesus to earth as an infant, a young boy, or a man. Instead, He chose for Mary to give birth to Him. What do you think the significance of that is?
  2. Why do you think that we prefer to think of the birth of Jesus in more tranquil images?
  3. The song relays how Joseph likely prayed for Mary even though it was their Creator she was giving birth to. What does that say to you about the importance of prayer?

Lyrics

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

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