Sunday, December 21, 2008
O HOLY NIGHT
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,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
O Holy Night is a well-known Christmas carol composed in 1847 to accompany a French poem about the night of Jesus's birth. Although our English version is not a direct translation of the French poem, it communicates to me the significance of this night.
For most families around the world, Christmas Eve is a night of anticipation. For children, it means falling to sleep and waking up to see what gifts await them. For parents, it often means a long night of assembling those "easy to assemble" toys for our children, and awaiting their shouts of joy. For many, it is traditionally the night we celebrate our Savior's birth.
This year, the anticipation of Christmas Eve is even clearer to me. As you can tell by the name of my blog, I love the notion of redeeming the future. (Honestly, there may be some readers who scratch their heads at the name of my blog.) My desire is to look at the events of this fallen world through a new lens. And to me, Christmas Eve, one of the most blessed nights in history, is perhaps the greatest example of redeeming the future for all of us.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to redeem means to:
• to buy back • to change for the better • to make good • to exchange for something of value • to free from what distresses or harms • to offset the bad effect of • to free from the consequences of sin • to release from blame or debt • to make worthwhile
For me, redeeming the future means that I can transform the pain of my past, the lament of my losses, the offenses of life, the disappointments and failures, and change it for the better, make it good, exchange it for something of value, release the blame, and make it worthwhile. It means I can have "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow." Lamentations 3:19-25
O Holy Night, when "Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Phillipians 2:5-8
O Holy Night, when our Savior came to the world that lay in sin and error pining, to bring the promise of a future with Him.
O Holy Night, when my soul felt its worth.