Oh holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
The line that absolutely stops me is this: “And the soul felt it’s worth.”
I don’t know that this happens a great deal at Christmastime actually. You hear a Christmas carol, you see a manger scene in someone’s yard, your attention is turned for a moment to the nativity of Jesus – does it naturally follow in that moment that your soul feels it’s worth? And why not?
I think we celebrate Christmas in a vacuum.
We do our best to turn our attention to Jesus. We meditate on his coming, the circumstances, the gift. But I think we forget what his coming was for.
Christmas is a rescue. God coming to rescue us. It is an act of humility, love and sacrifice unparalleled in the history of the world. But the act does not take place in a vacuum. The act is not primarily to show the greatness of God. It does show his greatness. But the act has a fierce intention to it, the whole drama is fiercely intentional, and the object of this act is you and me; the purpose is our rescue and restoration, to bring us back to God.