I doubt if you know the name of the Frenchman, Noël Regney, but you will recognize the famous song he penned.
Regney’s life is the remarkable story of a man who was drafted into the Nazi army, but deserted, joined the French Resistance and became a double agent. Later he moved to New York, married Gloria Baker and ultimately became a believer in Jesus.
In October of 1962, in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis, he wrote the lyrics and his wife wrote the music to song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” It was his way of pleading for the world to see Christ and receive His peace.
The song begins with these words:
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
‘Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
Remember the progression of the song? The little lamb tells the shepherd boy, and then the shepherd boy tells the king. Then the king tells the world to listen to what he says: “
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
The song reminds us of the most important birth in the world–Jesus of Nazareth. Luke records that angels were tending their flocks at night and God’s glory lit up the sky! And the angelic host proclaimed the joyful tidings “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The light that introduced Jesus’ birth that night was created by Him, who later affirmed, “I am the light of the world.” The description of Jesus as “light” is found 24 times in John’s gospel. His prologue begins this way:
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
“(John) came to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”
Jesus entered a world of moral darkness and depravity to enlighten it with the spiritual light of God. So, we don’t have to dwell in darkness. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory. He points us to the Father. And lights our path.
When I see Jesus, as the Light of the world, here’s what I see. I see the Light of understanding and insight. I see the Light that sustains my spiritual life. I see the Light radiates its purifying impact on my sin stained soul. I see the Light that nurtures and heals my hurts. I see the Light that produces joy. I see the Light that gives security.
Ironically, the Light was rejected for darkness. And while Jesus hung on the cross the world was enveloped in darkness. And upon his burial, it seemed that all hope was gone. That the Light was extinguished.
But Friday’s darkness gave way to the Light of Sunday. His resurrection reminds me that we don’t have to dwell in darkness. Our lives are not confined to the shadows. We are not relegated to an empty, aimless life. Jesus, the light, transmits hope. And illuminates the way to heaven.
Jesus shines in darkness. He shows the way. He dispels the gloom. He is the True Light. The Great Light. The Sun of Righteousness. The Bright and Morning Star.
Do you see what I see?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman