But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV
The vivid lyrics of “O Holy Night” transport us to the night of a miracle beyond our comprehension – the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. We see the bright stars and hear angelic voices announcing news of “great joy” and hope. We are led, as were the shepherds from the fields, and the Wise Men from the East – by “the light of faith,” drawing us to kneel at a lowly manger and to worship the One who will make it possible in the future to kneel at God’s Throne in Heaven.
The world into which Jesus came was a “weary world,” experiencing countless trials, needs, weaknesses, and oppression. On that “Holy Night,” the world “in sin and error” heard angels heralding the breaking of a “new and glorious morn.” The only One who could bring hope, peace, joy, love, and salvation had come. As the world was then, so it is today. Sin and error are increasingly evident. And now as then, our only hope is Jesus, the Savior.
The words to this beloved carol were composed by a non-believer, for a non-religious occasion. Yet God took what was intended for a secular event and used it for praise and glory. Until the day when He comes again, and “every knee shall bow,” let us pray that our lives will proclaim to a secular world the love, “power and glory” of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The last verse speaks of applying our beliefs. Love is the theme and peace is the result: chains are broken, oppression ceases, and love for our brothers-in-Christ flows out of us. We proclaim His power and glory forever. Such is the beauty of “O Holy Night.”