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The Soul’s Worth — “O Holy Night”

O 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 appears 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 Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!

Dear God, I was listening to this Christmas hymn yesterday and the part about Jesus appearing and our soul knowing it’s worth is struck me. It all gets wrapped up in this hope of Christmas that I’ll be speaking about next week at our town’s church-to-church Christmas service. Without you, we have zero idea about our worth.

I read an article this morning about declining teen mental health in our country—the world, really. Especially developed countries. Our technology is leading us into this toxic environment of engagement through social media. Interaction by remote.

So what is our worth? Without you, without understanding how you see us, it’s just a vapor. That’s our worth. But you created us. You know us. You love us. You need us. We have our worth in you, and we didn’t realize how much we were worth until you came and did what you did through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Father, thank you for making my soul worth something. Thank you for showing me my worth through Jesus. Help me to know how to share it with others—especially youth and young adults.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2021 in Hymns and Songs

 

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“O Holy Night”

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“O Holy Night”

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’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! O night when Christ was born.
O night divine, O night, O night divine.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!

Christ is the Lord, let all the people praise Him!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!

Dear God, I have to start with a little surprise. I wanted to do this hymn, but I couldn’t find it in any of the three hymnals I have in my home, and they represent the Baptist, Catholic, and Presbyterian Churches. That was odd. So I had to go and get the lyrics from the Internet. I didn’t expect that.

With that said, this is a great hymn. I want to just take a look at the lines that strike me:

  • Verse 1: “Till he appeared, and the soul felt its worth (emphasis mine).” What is my soul’s worth? Well, it’s huge to you. My sin and shame can bog me down and hide the value of my soul. But repentance brings freedom and uncovers exactly what my soul is worth. What a beautiful choice of words! He appeared in my life, and my soul did, indeed, feel its worth.
  • Verse 1: “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” “Hope” is an amazing thing that Jesus offers. Hope for something beyond ourselves. Hope for something beyond what we see. Hope that there is something beyond our own wisdom. Hope that there is something beyond our insecurity and hate, our selfishness and pride. Because yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
  • First Chorus: “Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices.” This is how you get there. No pride. No posturing. You fall on your knees, humble yourself and worship with the angels.
  • Verse 2: “Truly He taught us to love one another.” That’s the life Jesus lived. By coming to earth as human, he taught us through example, and there is example after example of Jesus loving people unreasonably.
  • Verse 2: “In his name, all oppression shall cease.” Okay, I have to say that this hasn’t really happened. Plenty of Christians oppress others in Jesus’s name. I’ve probably done it too. No, this is a nice idea, but I don’t think it’s a vision realized.
  • Chorus 2: “Christ is the Lord, let all the people praise Him.” Yes and yes. Jesus, you are the Lord. You are part of my God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I will praise you.

Father, tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Let it be a day when I will actually be very mindful of you and who you are. Let it be a day of worship.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2019 in Christmas Hymns, Hymns and Songs

 

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Emails to God – ‘Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth

“O Holy Night”

Dear God, I was driving in my truck last week when the song “O Holy Night” came on the radio. I was singing along shamelessly loud (thank goodness I was alone in the car) when I came across the lyrics in the middle of the first verse. I have sung this song thousands of times in my life, but these words floored me: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ’til he appeared and the soul felt its worth.” What unbelievably beautiful and communicative poetry that is.

I love the imagery because, apart from you, a soul has no clue what its worth is. I am trying to imagine what it would be like to wake up this morning and not know you. How would I feel? Where would my sense of hope and peace come from? Where would my sense of worth come from?

Father, thank you for the reminder of something that I tend to take for granted–that your presence in my life enables me to know my worth in the universe. I am not lost. I did not find my way. I was found by you. Now I pray that you help me, as a husband and a father, to help me foster an environment in my home where my wife and children will know their worth in you.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Hymns and Songs

 

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