One of the necessary ingredients of a good Christmas Eve service, in my opinion, is when a powerful soloist sings, “O Holy Night.” It’s not Christmas Eve until I hear, “O Holy Night.” The song contains these words:
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
This year has produced more than a few weary souls. I’m one of them. You probably are too. We are all weary. But the good news as we celebrate Christmas Eve 2020 is that “yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”
We have hope! Jesus has come! Rejoice! Fall on your knees and hear the angel voices!!
O Holy Night was originally written in French. An American abolitionist and Unitarian minister, John Sullivan Dwight, brought it to America in the 1850’s. The song became very popular in the north prior to the Civil War where the third verse rang very, very true.
Read the lyrics from the last verse. Take them all in. Let these words swirl in your mind and heart. Imagine living in pre-civil war America and singing out these words:
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 we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
The powerful message of the third verse was a needed reminder to the abolitionists in the 1800’s and it’s a needed reminder to our 2020, covid-weary, grief-stricken, election-depleted, social-unrest-burdened souls. Jesus still calls us to love one another. His law is still love and His Gospel is still peace. Jesus still breaks the chains of oppression for everyone is still our brother and sister! Yes, in 2020 and in every other year, let all within us praise His Holy Name!
More than ever I need the powerful message of Christmas! My weary soul needs to hear the Good News! Rejoice this Christmas Eve, my brothers and sisters, rejoice! For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!