O Holy Night

No song, in my opinion, captures the essence of the night of Christ’s birth better than ‘O, Holy Night!’. In fact, I feel this hymn captures the Christian heart and takes us to a moment of worship that is pure and simple. We can worship God with awe and wonder, and the lyrics lead you into a moment of inspired worship that is central to the Christian faith.

This hymn includes instruction, description, and praise all included in a beautiful lyric that is well placed with a tune that has become one of the most well known and awe-inspiring songs of the Christmas season. Let’s look at a few of the lyrics to see what I mean:

The Chorus opens with, “Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices, Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born, Oh night divine, Oh night divine.”

Instructions to fall to your knees, listen for the angelic song, and worship the King. A divine night and beautiful night that changed history. A night when a Savior was born, a night when our souls were given a way to spend eternity with God because that night set in motion a divine plan that would wash us in the Blood.

The chorus is not the only lines that tell of a divine night, look with me at some more lines from the hymn:

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 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!”

A world with no hope and a future that is in clear, and then we see the true meaning of Christmas in likely one of the most beautiful stanzas ever penned. A story that tells of no hope until the Lord appeared and ‘the soul felt its worth.’ As I said, a soul with no hope, a soul that felt alone and deserted, but because of this birth the hopeless soul felt its worth. Jesus is hope for the hopeless, He is peace for the broken and torn heart. It is a hope that inspires a rejoicing spirit to find hope in the dawning of a new day.

Hope that was born in a small Judean town, and a hope that inspires the soul and brings peace in a time of desolation, joy in adversity, and love to the broken heart.

The hymn continues talking of the teachings of Jesus. Teachings that show us how to love one another, teachings that show us how to find hope in times of hurt, and teaches us that peace comes when we praise him and apply these teachings to our everyday lives. This Christmas season, remember the hope found in that Holy night that divinely touched our lives and gives us continued hope and peace in a dark and unforgiving world.

“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.”

Fall on your knees, lift praise with all your might, and worship the Savior of the world, the baby who came on that holy, divine night.

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What Child is This?

Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes, what do you do when the woman you are promised to marry comes to you and says she is pregnant? Joseph did what he knew could be done and began to seek a way to drop Mary with little to no fuss and quietly end things with her. What would you do in that situation? He was visited by an angel that encouraged him to stay and raise the Son of God.

Many of us would likely have trouble being faithful through something like this, we would struggle with the knowledge that the child that Mary is carrying is not my child. I know what she said but I can’t marry her like this. Joseph exemplified true faith in trusting God to provide.

Who was this child and exactly how important is He to us as Christians? It brings us back the the lyrics of the traditional Christmas hymn, “What Child is This?”. Take aloof at the lyrics:

“What child is this, Who lay to rest On Mary’s lap is sleeping Whom angels greet with anthems sweet While shepherds watch are keeping.

So bring him incense, gold and myrrh Come peasant king to own him The King of Kings salvation brings Let loving hearts enthrone him.”

Who is this child of Christmas? What can he do for us? Come bring, gifts and bow down to worship Him.

“This, this is Christ the King Whom shepherds guard and angels sing Haste, haste to bring him laud The Babe, the Son of Mary”

This child came to the earth for many reasons and we can answer the question of what Child this is by looking at four things:

No person has had more impact on history than Jesus Christ. It is undeniable that He lived and walked in the land of Judea and Israel almost 2000 years ago.

–He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is God in a person. You want to know what God is like? Look to Jesus. The fullness of God dwells in Him.

–He is also the Creator of all creation. He holds all creation together. It is His masterpiece. Creation reveals the greatness of God.

–He is the Savior who saves us from our sins. He came to reconcile us with God.

–He is the head of the church. He is to the church what the head is to the body.

Once you know who He is, you have a choice–a decision to make. It’s the biggest one ever–to trust Him as your Savior and Lord or to reject Him. Who is Jesus? The Bible is clear, but the important thing for you is, do you believe it?

Away in a Manger

As we approach the Christmas season I want to look at some songs of the season and truly look into the meaning of Christmas for us all. First I’d like to look at the hymn ‘Away in a Manger’. This is such a simple song, but the message is one that is deeper than many may realize.

“Away in a manger, no crib for His bed; the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

“The cattle are lowing, the poor babe awakes; but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes. I love Thee Lord Jesus, look down from the sky, and stay by my cradle ’til morning is nigh.

“Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay, close by me forever and love me I pray. Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care; and take us to heaven to live with Thee there.”

The words are simple, and like ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ is a song that is taught to children, this around the Christmas season. The beauty of this hymn is that it lets us in on the true meaning of Christmas, a baby, born in a stable, laid in a manger because there was no room for Him. It embraces our story today as well…because too many times we fail to make room for him in our hearts. We find ourselves in a situation where we push him out to the parts of our lives that seem dirty and unworthy of the King of kings to be.

The lyrics paint a picture of peace that comes through a Savior that was born in the humblest of circumstances. A Savior who came to save the world and make a way for His people to achieve salvation. If we can begin to look at it in this way we will see the scriptures come to life right before our eyes. This song speaks of more than a baby in a feeding trough, it speaks of ‘A Way’ in a Manger.

A way for us to achieve salvation, a way for us to come to God, a way for us to feel happy about life, a way for us to find peace and fulfillment. Jesus even said later, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6),” and we are the ones who receive the gift that was given that first Christmas morning.

This Christmas, take the time to focus on the Way that came in a manger on that day. The way to eternal life came in a Bethlehem stable. Jesus is THE WAY in a Manger.