The book, Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas , provides some fascinating facts about the song, O Holy Night, including the fact that it was the very first song ever to be broadcast over the radio waves on Christmas Eve 1906, launching a completely new platform for music to be transmitted and enjoyed. What an amazing experience it must have been to have heard this beautiful hymn on the air waves for the very first time. Just another miracle of Christmas. Let us pray that all radio transmissions give glory to God the way the very first one did!
"Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till he appeared and the soul felt its worth." For many, Christmas can be a time of sorrow and loneliness - a time when the smiles and happiness of others can serve as a magnifying glass on one's own struggles. The promise that Christ brings with his incarnation is to show us our own worth. It is only in Christ, that we can truly understand our dignity and value as the sons and daughters of the most high. John 3:16 reminds us that "God so loved the world that he sent is only son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." This Christmas, meditate on this verse from the song and allow the Lord to speak the truth of your soul's worth to you.
"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn." What promise this line from the song provides. The hope that the incarnation of the Lord brings should give us a thrill! In his birth, our weary world experiences the promise of salvation, redemption and the "freedom of the children of God" (Rom 8:21) This Christmas, open your hearts to experience this "thrill of hope" in a new and powerful way. Ask the Lord to reveal to you how his incarnation has changed not only the world but you personally.
"Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother and in his name all oppression shall cease." In Luke 4:18, Jesus takes up the scroll of Isaiah and proclaims: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free." The Lord Jesus is still in the business of breaking the chains that bind us - chains of sin, unforgiveness, bitterness and addiction. If you are struggling with the chains in your life, I highly recommend Neal Lozano's book Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance .
Josh Groban's rendition of O Holy Night is one of my personal favorite versions of the song and here it is set to video accompanied by images from the movie The Nativity Story.
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