2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Labor of Love (December 4)

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



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?


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