All Through the Night

babyBut I have calmed and quieted myself. I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forever more. –Psalm 131:2,3

Be still and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10

He will take great delight in you. In his love he will rejoice over you with singing. –Zephaniah 3:17

Monday night, I attended a fabulous concert at Pella High School. Both concert bands, the percussion ensembles, and the orchestra performed holiday music. Peeking out of one of the pieces the orchestra played was a tender lullaby, the title of the song not generally recognized among lists of Christmas carols and songs about jingle bells or Santa coming to town.

And yet it belonged. For a moment, my heart stilled as the lyrics to the song flowed through my mind.

Sleep my child, peace attend thee. All through the night.

Guardian angels God will send thee. All through the night.

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping. Hill and dale in slumber sleeping.

I my loving vigil keeping. All through the night.

As I listened, I pictured Mary, a new mother in a strange town, watching her newborn Christ child sleep in the straw-filled manger. Along with the host of angels singing God’s praise in the heavens, she would watch over this child. Guard him. Love him. All through the night.

The orchestra moved on to another song, this one with a bit more drive and holiday association, but my thoughts remained on the lullaby. What if the child in need of protection and love is me or you? And what if the singer of the lullaby isn’t a young mother but God himself?

Sleep my child, peace attend thee. All through the night.

I my loving vigil keeping. All through the night.

God the father delights to lavish on us his tender care. We can rest safe and sound in his arms. Like the child with its mother in Psalm 131, we can be calm, quiet, and at peace while dark hours of pain or uncertainty or grief pass by. God is there singing over us. Loving us. Guarding us. All through the night.

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