More Than a Christmas Carol: 5 Takeaways From “O, Holy Night”
Every Christmas and all throughout the world, people are acknowledging Christ. Christmas songs that proclaim Jesus’ birth are still played in shopping malls and sung on the lips of those who may not know Him. Jesus receives the kind of glory that He should in the month of December.
Of course, many of the carols we sing are simply traditions. They’re considered to be classics rather than hymnals that glorify our Savior. And unfortunately, even Christians—including myself—tend to forget the true meaning behind these songs that we habitually sing.
But they’re more than just songs to celebrate Christmas. The intention behind these songs was to remember our Savior’s birth.
Since it is easy for these carols to lose their meaning after hearing them dozens of times, I’ve decided to take one of my favorite ones and reflect on its lyrics, paraphrasing the truths behind each line.
Below are 5 takeaways from the song “O Holy Night”:
1. Jesus is the light in our darkness.
“O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour’s birth.”
All throughout the Bible, God uses analogies and symbolism to illustrate Biblical truths. I believe that the birth of Jesus is one of the most beautiful examples of this.
It is no coincidence that the wise men were led into the city of Bethlehem by a bright and shining star. Similarly, in the midst of the darkness of our life, God will be our light. He can guide us through this world and bring hope, guidance, and peace in each step.
2. In the midst of despair, we have a reason to celebrate.
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn”
It’s a shame that the holidays can cause so much anxiety for us at times. It’s the exact opposite of how God wants us to respond to the birth of His son.
Jesus came to rescue us. He came to bring salvation for humanity, to offer hope in the midst of our weariness.
And this is the greatest gift of all. This is why we should be full of joy this season, celebrating our Savior’s birth.
3. In Christ, we are all created equal. In Christ, there is only love.
“Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in His name, all oppression shall cease.”
The one who belongs to Christ should never have a reason to feel rejected. God’s law is love—it is not rules. Those who follow Him should never have a reason to feel condemned.
Christmas offers the perfect opportunity for Christians to spread this love by reaching out to the needy and to those who may feel unloved, just as Christ did. It is our job to become a representation of this love, to become a light in this dark world, and to share this freedom with others without judging or discriminating.
4. The first Christmas was a precious and sacred night, despite the circumstances.
Even though Jesus was born to a nobody in small-town Bethlehem—in a stable, nonetheless—this was a moment to be glorified.
“O hear the angle voices
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born
O night divine!
O night, O night divine!”
Jesus was worth the highest honor and royalty treatment, and yet God allowed Him to enter into this world as if he were an average human.
Maybe God wanted us to realize that what the world deemed as significant really wasn’t significant at all. Despite the fact that Jesus’ birth was not triumphant in the material sense, it was still sacred. The earthly circumstances could not have taken away the peace and joy that were experienced in the stable on that night.
And that alone should give us hope.
5. We get to praise His name forevermore.
“Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord!
Their name forever praise we”
When we think of Jesus’ birth, we can experience the same joy that pierced through the darkness 2000 years ago, despite what our circumstances may look like. And from the joy in our hearts will rise a desire to glorify Christ’s name forever—from now and into eternity, from earth and into heaven.
As you sing the classic Christmas carols this season, I challenge you to look behind the words. Let’s receive the true Christmas spirit that God wanted us to have while we celebrate Christ’s birth, remembering that precious, holy night.
O night, O night divine
O night, O night divine
O night, O holy night”
Listen to O Holy Night by Pentatonix.