Monday, December 20, 2010

O Holy Night

This is probably my most favourite Christmas hymn - at least the first stanza. I first remember hearing it as a young teenager (or possibly pre-teens) when an actor sang it on a popular TV show (Robert Guillaume sang it in a Christmas episode of Benson - at least I was told it was actually the actor singing it and not just putting on a performance). I in no way endorse that show, and honestly don't remember much of it anyway - but that song stuck with me. It was so emotional; perhaps part of the impact was the fact that here was a black man singing about the slave being our brother (ie. our fellow man - according to the Bible, all of mankind is of one blood and we are all related physically through Adam and Eve; though, we are only brothers and sisters spiritually through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ). After I trusted Christ for salvation, I later came across the lyrics of this song and memorized the first stanza, now knowing the meaning of the hope and purpose that salvation in Christ gives to the weary soul. It still touches me today. I think some versions have "the weary world rejoices," but this version from Nethymnal (which should be true to the original) has "the weary soul rejoices." That makes more sense. The whole world is not rejoicing in the Saviour, but the soul that has the burdens of sin and oppression lifted will rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a hymn of hope - which is what the Lord seems to be emphasizing to me in all the messages I have been preparing and preaching for Christmas.

O Holy Night
(Lyrics: Placide Cappeau)

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

Ephesians 2:12-13 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite Christmas hymn and I especially love the third verse! Amen and amen!