Tonight, as many of us are wrapping gifts, stuffing stockings, making treats, and spending time with friends and family, we are probably listening to Christmas music. Some we know very well, some not so much. If you go to a Christmas Eve service at a church, you may sing loudly (and hopefully more on key than I am) for a few carols, but quietly wing your way through others. With so much going on, shopping, baking, get-togethers, general busy-ness, I worry we simply skim through these songs, not truly thinking about what we are saying.
Tonight I want to share with you my meditation on a favorite hymn, though honestly, I don’t think my words here can truly convey my emotions here. I do hope you will take the words of this song , or any of the other great Christmas songs we listen to every year, and focus on it, line by line. Listen to what it is saying. Can you hear it? Can you feel it? What a joyous occasion! What a great night! There is a buzz in the air!
Oh holy night!
As in “devoted entirely to God or the work of God; venerated as or as if sacred; divine” “For the Lord our God it holy. “ Psalm 99:9
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Even the stars are rejoicing! The savior is born! “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah :6
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16,17
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
In all of us there is that hole that can only be filled by God. But we are separated from Him because of our sin. We have pined for so long for that relationship with Him. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! What a relief, what a heavy burden has been lifted. Our sin has weighed us down, but now there is hope, a hope of freedom, a hope of peace, a hope eternal.
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Imagine, being in the middle of the field, it is dark; there is no one around but the sheep and your fellow shepherds. Then the sky is filled with light and angels are TALKING TO YOU! “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14.
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
Devine: adjective: related to or coming from God; supremely good; heavenly. It was a divine night, a holy night, a heavenly night. Quietly ponder on this for a moment.
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
“Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31a. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just mean the nice neighbors. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27, 28
Tis the season of giving, but we are called to love all year long: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days a year. No, you don’t get a day off on a Leap year.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
So poignant now, probably just as so when this was written, and on that holy night. So many are hurting; oppressed by so much: illness, addictions, fears, relationships, prejudice, legalism, sin. But these chains are broken! We are free! So…
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
…we praise Him, on this night, this divine, this o, holy night.
O Holy Night (one of my favorite versions!)