O Holy Night

December 22, 1999

During this Christmas week, I thought it would be refreshing to take a break from the political and social commentaries that I do and focus on the music of Christmas. Today I would like to look a very popular song at this time of the year: "O Holy Night."

The song begins: "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 soul felt its worth." The world essentially was waiting until the Savior would be born, and when He was our soul felt its worth. John 3:16 says that Jesus came because "God so loved the world." He sent His son to pay the penalty for our sin that we might have everlasting life.

The second verse continues: "The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend. He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King, before Him lowly bend." Here the songwriter confronts us with the irony that the King of Kings was born as an infant in a lowly manger in a stable with animals. He lived a life of poverty, faced scorn, and was crucified with thieves. Nevertheless, we bow before Him because He is the King of Kings.

The third verse concludes: "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." God taught us to love one another and to love even those who are slaves. Even though we no longer have slavery in this country, we still have prejudice and persecution. We should demonstrate God's love to all of those around us. Like Jesus Christ, we must model love, humility, and a servant's heart.