O Holy Night
Hope for the Nations
I love Christmas! I love the whole season. I love that moment on November 1st when people start packing up their ghoulish and dark décor and start unpacking the twinkle lights and ornaments and our part of the northeast begins to smell of spicy cinnamon and fresh pine. I will admit, however, that I would be quite content to forego one part of the holiday spirit—Christmas music. I just don’t like it; the repetitious songs played in a thousand different styles and ways… With that being said there are few of the classic songs that I would gladly put into a separate category and play all year round. These are the songs that to me feel so much more like worship than holly jolly jingle bells.
This year as I tried my hardest to love Christmas music as much as those around me, every time I just ended back in a playlist of approx. three to five songs. (Sorry, I can still do without the others.) One of those songs struck me particularly moving this December. As I listened to the lyrics from the famed, “O Holy Night” I found my heart singing more than just my mouth.
The song was written in the 1800s by a French wine merchant at the request of a perish priest. I don’t know what that man’s theology looked like. I don’t know if he believed the words he wrote. I do know, however, that He spoke of a Savior who is still saving people today.
In the third verse of O Holy Night, we sing:
“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, with all our hearts we praise His Holy name. Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, His power and His glory ever more proclaim!”
When I hear these words I am reminded that Jesus came to set captives free. For those who believe in Him we know this proclaims that we were once sinners but are now free sons and daughters. I challenge you furthermore, however, when you hear or sing the words of this song to not only do so in thankfulness for what Christ has done for you, but to declare over our world that He has come to set the captives free.
Isaiah prophesied that, “In His name the nations will put their hope.” Jesus is the hope for the nations! He came to seek and save that which were lost. He also came to give a Father to every orphan, a Friend to every lonely, a Rescuer to every slave, and a Hope to every hopeless.
As we worship and as we celebrate this Christmas season, as often as you think of it, place a hopeless situation before you, stare it in the face and declare that Jesus is HOPE and in His Name all oppression shall cease.
This Scripture often read this time of year has become a promise that I not only receive for myself but I send to every corner of the earth and to every sinner, captive, and saint:
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
With great hope for the nations,