Beside Still Waters: O Holy Night

Therese Apel

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ’til He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…” – O Holy Night

Across America, and maybe around the world, a large percentage of people you ask would say O Holy Night is their favorite Christmas carol. I’ve always thought it was cool that everyone loves the song as much as I do, but this morning I got finished with my Bible study and the first thing I saw was where someone posed the question, “What’s your one favorite Christmas Carol?” Looking at the answers, it was primarily a mix of O Holy Night and Mary Did You Know.

Is it the melody? It’s definitely gorgeous, and when you hear it sung by someone with a strong voice who can hit those notes, it’s unparalleled. But I don’t think that’s it.

I think it’s the truth of it. Our souls react to the imagery of pining in sin until we first see our Christ, and then we realize His great sacrifice that saves us for all eternity.

The way your heart felt after you accepted Him into your life, and the way your heart feels when you’re pretty sure you just saw a God wink, or an I Spy as my Mom called them.

The joy of knowing the greatest hope in all of eternity now that He has cut through the darkness of sin and given us an out.

And in this song we hear that truth, and we recognize that the whole weary world felt His arrival. All of actual creation sensed Him and worshiped.

“Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices.”

I hope that wonder of Christ’s birth is never lost on you, and I hope every time you hear that hymn from now on, you feel it in your soul that He is here.

Thank God for that hope. ❤️

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