Friday, December 14, 2018

Advent Words: O is for O Holy Night

O is for O Holy Night

Christmas carols and hymns like O Holy Night are very familiar to most of us. We sing them year after year, having memorized them from childhood. Many were written during times when a majority of the population were illiterate. The carols and hymns became a popular way to teach and tell the Christmas story. O Holy Night was originally a French Christmas poem written as a commission for a clergyman who wanted a poem for Christmas mass The poet used the Gospel of Luke as a guide for his poem. It was later set to music by a famous French composer. In the mid 1800's the song captured the attention of an American writer and abolitionist, who was drawn to the first four lines of the second verse. The hymn would eventually become a standard part of our Christmas music repertoire.

In many ways, when we sing these songs at Christmas, we are singing God's Word to one another. I will list some Bible passages you can read to see how deeply theological this Christmas hymn is. 

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Luke 2:8-9; Matthew 2:1-2.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

Romans 3:10-18; Romans 8:22; 1 John 3:1-5

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Romans 8:19-22, 24; Romans 13:12; Romans 5:1-2; Romans 15:13
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

Philippians 2:9-11; Psalm 95:6; Luke 2:14
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.

John 13:34-35; Mark 12:30-31: Romans 13:10: Ephesians 2:14-17; Ephesians 5:1-2
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Psalm 107:13-16; Philemon 16; Psalm 9:7-10; Psalm 103:5-6
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Psalm 103:1, 19-22; Psalm 145:21; Psalm 150:1-6
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Revelation 5:11-13; Revelation 7:9-12

Enjoy digging in to just a few of the many verses that give meaning to the lyrics of O Holy Night.

Share your creative response to the Advent Words challenge in our private Facebook group  Join here:

If you belong to the Everyday Journal group that I co-lead with Valerie Sjodin and Bernice Hopper, Advent Words will be our theme for December.

Share on Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #adventwords2018.

Check out my Pinterest board for this challenge and see some of the wonderful and diverse creativity of Advent Words 2018 participants.

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