Oh Holy Night!


Crossposted from Jody’s Devotionals.

lyrics: Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847
music: Adolphe Charles Adams

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 Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, 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 he shall 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 glory ever more proclaim!

This is our Christmas devotion. I am praying that you will take time on today and Tuesday to read Matthew and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ birth. But right now I want to look at some of God’s inspired words from the 19th century.

…the stars are brightly shining” I like to go out and look up at the stars. If I had a more mathematical mind, maybe I would have been an astronaut! I remember from my growing up years that a crisp, cold winter night is a beautiful backdrop for stars that seem closer and more clear to the naked eye than any other.

…long lay the world in sin and error pining” Now ‘pining’ isn’t a word that I use in my daily vocabulary – but it does have a true note in its ‘voice’, doesn’t it? We live in such a sinful, bad-judgment world. We desperately search for happiness and peace and either talk and talk and talk and do NOTHING or we impulsively and frantically run from new idea to new idea that will produce that ‘thing’ that we want. If I vote for the ‘right’ presidential candidate, will that ‘fix’ the world? If I was one of those who got a Wii for a holiday gift, will I find the ultimate relaxation and fun? (sigh)

…till He appeared and the Spirit [or soul] felt its worth” There it is. The Truth. The Hope. The Reason. The Answer. Jesus came in the flesh and I am with my Creator. What else could I need? I am home.

No matter how old I am, no matter that my parents have left this world, going home for Christmas still brings up warm feelings in the region of my heart; my spirit. It’s not specific memories or specific people. It is just the definition of ‘home’ that my spirit knows is good and refreshing; restoring me to a young, stronger, more hopeful time.

Jesus does that. When I turn my eyes to Him and thank Him for the tiny and big things in my life, when I turn to Him and seek to lay my head on His strong chest and tell Him the difficulties of my life, I am restored. I am forgiven of “errors” and I no long “pine” for what is missing. I have it deep inside of me.

So when all the shiny paper is stuffed into the garbage and all the cheery songs are quiet, let us continue to walk with our Lord every moment of the day. Begin each day with a time of thanksgiving that acknowledges the big and the small moments that may come our way. And when those moments become confusing or more difficult and painful than I can handle – turn to Jesus first and lay it out there for HIS answer. And when the day is done, leave each moment at the feet of Jesus just as the Wise Men laid their gifts. Jesus, God with us, will separate the gifts from the difficulties with a loving hand and restore that peace that does pass our understanding.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

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