My wife anticipates the Christmas season the same way I anticipate the start of the Premier League. Once Halloween has passed, she’s full steam ahead on the Polar Express (my near dozen trips from the attic to bring down her Christmas decorations are proof of this), and nothing stops that train until at least January 10th or so. Thanksgiving? Merely an obstacle in the way of Christmas. She’s all about the season, and the “Christmas Spirit” turns on like a faucet for her.
I am the opposite.
- I feel like Thanksgiving is an underrated and often forgotten holiday.
- I need to get past Thanksgiving to get into Christmas mode, and I need some extra motivation to get into the spirit.
That extra motivation? I need Christmas music to get my Christmas juices flowing, one song in particular:
O Holy Night
In my opinion, O Holy Night is one of the most beautiful, hopeful, inspiring, and emotionally moving songs ever written. There are lines that contain more theological truth, more food for thought, and more inspiration and hope than entire books.
Over the years, I have become more and more moved by the song because I have become more and more aware of how blessed I have been by God and how unworthy I am of those blessings. There are times I feel an overwhelming sense of awe when I hear it, and I have to admit that I have been brought to tears by it more and more (getting married and becoming a Dad does WEIRD things to your emotions, trust me).
The message of O Holy Night isn’t just for Christmas.
It isn’t just for this wild year of 2020.
It is a message for our souls every single day.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
Every soul deep down knows that something is wrong and longs for more. Too often we confuse that more with more stuff, or more experiences, or the pursuit of more pleasure, but in reality, we only need the one. That one, Jesus Christ, came here to save us, and every soul has worth in His eyes.
Fall on your knees
Our response to the love of Christ should be nothing but humility and gratitude. It is a humbling thought that the God of the universe came here to save us, and that He came in the form of a helpless baby, born into poverty.
Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace
The love of Christ should be the love that we strive to show every soul on this planet, regardless of race, religion, political persuasion, or nation. All of us are made in God’s image and we too often let our petty differences and selfish sinful natures dictate our relationships with one another.
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease
The only hope for this fallen world is Jesus. We talk about unity, justice, and healing these days here in America, and those on both sides of whatever isles we have created who think that their side will bring those things is mistaken. A government may break the chains of literal bondage, but it will never break the chains that sin wrap around us. All are equally chained by sin, and all are slaves to their selfish desires. That also means all are equal at the feet of Christ. There are no rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat, vegan or carnivore: there are only sinners in need of a savior, and once that Savior has redeemed us, none of those previous things matter. All are united in Christ, and our oppression from sin and death ends forever because of Him. Because of Christ, all can be equally redeemed.
Christ is the Lord, o praise His name forever, His power and glory evermore proclaim
Only one is worthy of praise, and He is the reason for all things, and all things are made by Him and for Him. We are all in debt to Him, and thankfully He already paid it for us. We just have to trust it and accept it.
Don’t let 2020 and whatever circumstances you may be dealing with rob you of this message.
I find it appropriate that Christmas comes at the end of the year because it is often at the end of the year that we need a reminder of hope.
There is always a “thrill of hope” because there is a God that is always there, the same God that sent his Son to be born into this screwed up world just so he could die horrifically and painfully in our place, and this Son defeated death for all eternity, all so we could have hope and be united with Him.
There is always hope.
There is always grace.
There is always redemption.
There is always love.
It’s in the sacrifice of that child that was born to die for us.
And that is something we should never forget to celebrate.
Even on a Monday.
Merry Christmas everyone. Rejoice in the hope that never fades.