O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul 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, O night when Christ was born
O night, divine, O night, O night divine
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
Christ is the Lord, Oh praise His name forever
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night, O night divine
Lyrics: Adolphe Adam, composed to the French poem “Minuit, chretiens” (Midnight, Christians) by poet Placide Cappeau
Overall, the most interest in my informal poll (“What is your favorite Christmas song?”) was for this song: O Holy Night. Even beyond Mary Did You Know, haha! But in all seriousness, people really love this song and it’s one of the most requested and beloved at Christmas. I love it too and can honestly say it’s my favorite. There’s just something so moving, so stirring in the words and in the music of this epic song. When it’s done by a powerful female or male lead vocalist, you can’t help but also “fall on your knees” and worship at the feet of our Savior.
First written in French in the 1800s, the song has undergone some changes. Namely, translations from French to a literal English version and then from there, the version we have today which was transcribed by a man named John Sullivan Dwight. Dwight was a noted abolitionist who especially resonated with the lines “chains shall He break for the slave is our brother.” Dwight introduced the song and it gained much popularity in the divided Civil War nation, namely in the North.
To be stirred into a posture of worship singing O Holy Night is perhaps the part that speaks to most of us. The lyrics are not simply about something; namely the advent of Christ. No they are more so about a response in worship to Who this baby is and the man He would grow into: a deliverer, a breaker of chains, a redeemer. We accompany the throng of angels who also sang: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14. We give worship and praise because He is worthy of it!
The other thing that strikes me about this song and is in line with last week’s O Come O Come Emmanuel, is this idea of hope. “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.” Can I tell you those words take on a whole new meaning as I look back over 2020? We are a people in need of hope. We are a people needing to see some new and glorious break appearing on the horizon. We need to know and remind ourselves that this is why Christ came: to bring hope to a broken world. A world that is as broken as its ever been right now.
Maybe the best thing I can do as we consider this week’s song is to just suggest listening to it again. I’ve attached my best attempt at it with a YouTube link as I’ve done each week. In addition, you may find your favorite version and just sit back, listen and ponder it again. And above all, just worship. Worship the God Who sent His one and only Son into this world. “His pow’r and glory” we must “evermore proclaim!” Jesus is all the hope we’ll ever need in this life and O Holy Night points us to this truth.
Guys I have loved walking through these “Songs Of The Season” each week with you! For nothing else, it’s given us a chance to dive into these well-known lyrics and take a look at the truth imparted by each line. I hope you have been encouraged and blessed. I hope you are listening to these songs with a newfound joy and outlook upon the world; because Jesus came into it to redeem and save the lost sinner. Sinners like you and I. Praise God!
Guys I love you and I love walking this journey with you. Let me know how you are doing…shoot me an email and let me know how I can pray for you today. God bless.
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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17
O Holy Night (Cover)//Derek Charles Johnson (Songs Of The Season)