This morning as I passed from deep sleep to wakefulness I unexpectedly heard the words to a grand Christmas carol making their melody heard in my soul.
“Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth….
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, oh night when Christ was born;”
Inexplicably the Holy Spirit made His gracious presence known to me this morning, reminding me by these words the immensity of His Christmas gift. Since the fateful moment in Eden the world had long labored under the inescapable burden of sin. To know relief from that burden was rare.
Then into the deep darkness He appeared and hope was renewed. “Fall on your knees!” is our proper response to this unspeakably great gift. If we had seen what the shepherds saw we too would be on our faces in awe. Falling is not voluntary. Kneeling is. But this hymn writer correctly used a verb which indicates being forced to the ground; and when we pause long enough to ponder the wonder, the miracle, the extravagance of this Gift we too should fall on our knees.
We who believe in the Christ, and I’m speaking of myself, too, can look condescendingly at our Muslim neighbors worldwide for all their bowing to Allah. It is a practice for earning favor, yet Christ has already accomplished the entrance into eternity they strive to purchase. But might it be good for us to hear this Christmas hymn of worship and literally bow to the ground in adoration? I wish for this kind of freedom in our worship, don’t you?
The last stanza of “O, Holy Night,” includes, “sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, with all our hearts we praise His holy name.” As true believers we can stand triumphantly with arms raised in adoration for the victory He secured for us. This is the good news of the gospel, the joy of Christmas and Easter combined.
These words of, “O, Holy Night,” which ring true in our hearts at Christmas should move us to worship all year. The power of these lyrics and others is one of the reasons we created AdoreHymns, eight Christmas carols designed beautifully into an ornament collection, including free downloadable instrumental renditions of the music. And this week we are talking about them on FamilyLifeToday.
Join us, listen online or get a set of Adorehymns for your family and worship with us the greatest Gift ever given!