Thursday, November 25, 2010

O Night Divine!

We have a rule at our house: No Christmas until After Thanksgiving!  We will not skip directly from Halloween to Christmas; it just isn’t done.  But this year I couldn’t help myself.  With Thanksgiving still a few days away, I just couldn’t resist the urge to get out my favorite Christmas piano book (Christmas Living Room Sessions by Chris Rice) and play through it.  Ahhh…how I love those songs!

My absolute favorite Christmas hymn is “O Holy Night.”  The lyrics and the melody and those gorgeous harmonies just come together to create this beautiful expression of what Christmas is really about.        

First, the song sets the scene of that first Christmas night:
                    O, Holy Night!  The stars are brightly shining.
                    It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Then, it reminds us of how the world and all who live in it have been since the day Satan visited Adam and Eve in the garden -- sinful and flawed.  It echoes Paul when he writes in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
                    Long lay the world in sin and error pining
And then one of my favorite lines:
                    ‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
Oh, what value God gave us when He sent His only Son to walk on this earth with us, to feel the confines of flesh envelope His soul, to give up His throne for a time and trade it for the bondage that our humanness holds on us!  When Christ appeared on this earth, God said to my soul, “Oh, what a sacrifice… but you are worth it!”  How I cherish that!

I can’t begin to imagine what it must have felt like to live in Jesus’ day, but I imagine from what I read in the New Testament that for many it was a very bleak and oppressive time in history.  I feel more and more as if our world today mirrors that time.  As the economy struggles, evil flourishes and suffering increases my heart feels the hopelessness of our time.  But I also know that in any century, in any society, we have HOPE because of Jesus.  And God’s faithful who are seeking and waiting for their Savior, whether today or 2000 years ago, rejoice with the birth of Christ! 
                    A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
                    As yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
As my heart bursts forth with praise for this amazing thing that God has done, I find no more appropriate response than to fall down and worship Him!  Truly, there is nothing else to do but that!
                    Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices!
                    O, night divine!  O, night when Christ was born!
                    O, night divine!  O, Holy Night!  O, night divine!

So, I may be a little early with my Christmas music, but it is never the wrong time to bow down before our King, to rejoice in His gift and to feel the marvelous joy that comes in knowing Christ and the salvation He brings!

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