"O Holy Night" Indeed - Trans World Radio Canada

Journey to Hope

TWR Canada past-president Ray Alary blogged every Thursday, telling behind-the-scenes stories and ministry updates you won't find anywhere else.  You can still access his stories and read about his time as a missionary with TWR. 
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  • Dec20Thu

    "O Holy Night" Indeed

    December 20, 2018 by Nicki Coles
    For many people, believers and those not professing faith in the Saviour, singing carols is a much-anticipated Christmas tradition. We sing them in church services, hum along to them at shopping malls, sing them out loud in our cars and join our voices together at impromptu gatherings. There is just something about carols that makes us sing with joy. 

    A favourite carol for many is “O Holy Night.” It is one that has lasted through the years and can be heard frequently. The story goes that in 1843 in a small town in France, a parish priest asked a wine merchant and poet to write a Christmas poem to celebrate the church organ which had been recently renovated. Placide Cappeau was a town native but had never shown any interest in religion. He was perhaps an interesting choice, but he obliged and wrote the poem. Later that same year, a friend of his, Adolphe Adam, composed the music, and the famous Christmas carol was born.

    The words are powerful as they turn our thoughts and hearts towards the reason for Christ’s birth. Perhaps the words have become so familiar to you that it’s easy to just sing them by rote and not think about their meaning. Take a minute and read them thoughtfully, reflecting on the message of this awe-filled carol.  

    O! Holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
    It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
    Long lay the world in sin and error, pining
    Till 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! O hear the angel voices!
    O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
    O night, O holy night, O night divine!
    O night, O holy 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 us,
    With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
    Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
    His power and glory evermore proclaim!
    His power and glory evermore proclaim!

    Can you feel the awe and excitement of that night? Can you feel that “thrill of hope” or the majesty of the “holy night?” Jesus came to a world in desperate need of a Saviour, a world that “long lay…in sin and error, pining till he appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” Jesus came to make a way for us to be reconciled with God, and he came in the form of an infant. God willingly sent his only son for us. What an amazing demonstration of his love to each one of us. 

    The words of this song and the message they contain evoke the same response written about in the song: “Fall on your knees!” When we truly understand the gift that God gave us in Jesus, there can be no other response than to worship him in praise and adoration! 

    As a mission committed to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, we want people to know the truth and the one behind these words, whether the words are familiar or new. We want to ignite a new passion in believers, and we want to proclaim the truth to those who have not yet heard or accepted this gift so that together, “With all our hearts we praise His holy name. Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, His power and glory evermore proclaim!” 

    We thank you for your faithfulness in sharing in our mission. May your Christmas be filled with the joy of the Lord as you celebrate the greatest gift of Jesus and the gifts he freely gives. 

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