O Holy Night

Christmas Eve. There’s something magical about the night…that has nothing to do with Santa Claus.

candle in ornaments
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

This year, Christmas is stained with the recent, horrific events in Newtown, Conn. I’m sure every parent who tucks their child into bed on this night in anticipation of Christmas morning won’t not think of the pain and anguish the parents of those children are experiencing. The bedtime hug will be just a little tighter, and the kiss goodnight will be held just a little longer.

Christmas Day is certainly a feature event for Christians around the world. But Christmas Eve is held in our hearts as a holy night filled with the soft glow of candles as the Advent season closes in anticipation of the promise fulfilled.

But how hard is it to see that promise these days? We live in a culture of violence. It’s everywhere. It permeates every aspect of our lives from our movies to television to video games. The news is famous for showing us a ring-side seat to the violence and hate in every part of the world.

Where is the promise of peace on earth and goodwill towards our fellow men and women? Where is the joy to the world? So much of the time, the world stumbles in darkness looking for some semblance of hope.

And yet….

Every year, the world is reminded there is a light in the darkness. That, even though there are tragic happenings everywhere, there is hope for better days ahead.

This hope comes in the form of 26 Christmas trees delivered in memory of 26 lives. It comes from a man in California buying cups of coffee for everyone in Newtown. It comes as 26 stuffed animals delivered to a children’s ward at a hospital. It comes through neighbors who trek out onto a snow-covered highway in the middle of a blizzard to bring stranded travelers blankets, food and coffee. It comes as an extension cord drug out to a gate with power strips and sign inviting anyone who needs to recharge their cell phone after a hurricane.

Yes, hope is everywhere and there are lights in the darkness. And every year on Christmas Eve, we look to the ultimate hope of life of unprecedented joy. A time when there are no more tears. No more sadness. No more darkness. A time when love and peace prevail.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared 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!
Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine! 

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
Noel! Noel! O night, O night divine
Noel! Noel! O night, O night divine!

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQWXfHzOKUU’%5D

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the light of hope shine brightly in your life.

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