|Posted on December 27, 2018 at 1:25 PM|
My favorite Christmas song has always been “O Holy Night”. What I like about it is not just the reverent music, but the lyrics as well. For me, the song captures the true meaning of Christmas in a very simple yet profound way. It always brings to mind the gentle way the Father introduced himself to the world as our loving God by fully identifying himself with the common “nobodies” in both humility and majesty.
Being born a helpless infant completely vulnerable to all the dangers and evil in the world reveals the extent to which God so loved the world that he gave us his son. Such a selfless gift given to a world that couldn’t even appreciate it much less receive it is proof positive that God is, indeed, love. While ignored by the wisdom of the world and marginalized by those busy trying to survive, God’s unspeakable gift of love quietly entered the world with the hidden majesty of a king. His destiny to be revealed later was nothing short of the creation of a new human race created in the image and likeness of God. That holy night marked the birth of a brand-new humanity in this world that would truly bring peace on earth.
The lyrics of this song profoundly describe both the natural condition of the world and the glorious answer of God’s love. The words, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining” reveal the unbelief, dysfunction, and suffering of the natural world in which we are born and try to survive. It was that same world of chaos and pain where Jesus appeared providing the opportunity for a sense of genuine personal worth. With his birth into our dysfunctional world came “a thrill of hope” causing the “weary world to rejoice” because it was the beginning of a “new and glorious morn”. A new day for all of humanity had broken through the deep darkness that engulfed the world.
Finally, the song calls us to the only appropriate response to such an awesome revelation. “Fall on your knees” in reverent worship recognizing what God has done for us we could not do for ourselves. “Hear the angel voices.” Just as the shepherds heard the angels say, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” even so we realize that unto us is born a Savior. And just as they heard the angelic choir sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, toward men of good will” we also listen to the good news that God is bringing peace on earth through men of good will.
The night that Christ was born is truly a holy night because it was a night God used to initiate his eternal plan of salvation in this temporal world of sin and death. It was a night divine because it was planned and orchestrated by our triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The holy night Christ was born was the historical birth of a new race of human beings created in the image and likeness of God. On that night divine Jesus became the “firstborn among many brethren” who believe on him and are “created in Christ Jesus”. It is a privilege to celebrate the eternal grace of God entering our world through the birth of his Son as our Savior, Christ the Lord.