christmas · faith · special days

o holy night

o holy night

We’ve been enjoying days filled with the sounds of Christmas (see here and here, too). There are just so many wonderful songs to get you in the Christmas spirit. I love the contemporary renditions of old and new favourites by the Gardiner Sisters, Pentatonix, Michael Bublé, the jazzy tones of David Ian and, of course, various familiar Christian artists.  Sometimes, though, we just need traditional. You know what I’m sayin’?  My Love has a hard time accepting some recent takes on the tried and true.  He likes the old familiar to stay familiar. Even my df girl appreciates the smooth resonance of Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

Some are just for fun…who can resist ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas’?  Some are nostalgic: ‘White Christmas’ and ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’.  Then there are those that remind us of the deeper meaning of this season of celebration: the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. There are many wonderful, moving pieces–again old and new alike.  Many that send shivers down my spine and give me goosebumps as I contemplate the full import of “the Son who was given to us” (Isaiah 9:6).  One such Christmas carol is O Holy Night.

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 appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
The world lost in sin and far from God.  Then, that glorious night, when Jesus was born and hope was born, too. I love that phrase: “a thrill of hope.”   Hope for whom? The weary soul. The sinner’s soul.  Every soul.  My soul.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

“Fall on your knees.”  Utterly prostrate in worship for the Christ Child.  Oh, knowing the purpose of His birth, His life for mine, do I have this unmitigated attitude of adoration and adulation?

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend

These wise men who saw the unique star in the sky, recognized it as a fulfillment of prophecy and traveled many miles–for, perhaps, a year or two–to seek out this Child, to worship Him and to bring Him gifts, possibly representative of His deity, priesthood and sacrifice.

A King, very God, yet He humbled Himself to be obedient for the sake of an oblivious world.  For my sake.

…who [Jesus], being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8).

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

He knows.  He listens. He helps. He heals.

“In all our trials born to be our friend.”  Wow.  My Saviour.  My God.  My Friend.  

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

“His law is love…”

His greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart. The second which is like it:  Love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Do I live this out?  Loving His Church.  Loving my enemies.  Loving all as He loves.

“…His gospel is peace.”

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. (Ephesians 2:14-16)

He makes a way for our peace with God.  He Himself is my peace.

In Christ we are family.  No slave, no master.  Just brothers and sisters worshiping together.  How beautiful.  How thankful I am for the family of God.

How thankful for the greatest gift ever given: Jesus.

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Continue to be encouraged over here:

Salt & Light #30

Coffee for Your Heart
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LMM Linkup @ Maryandering Creatively
GraceFull Tuesday @ Abounding Grace   #GraceFullTuesday











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