” A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…”
We will see this part of the song, “O Holy Night.” – all over our Facebook, and Instagram feeds on Christmas morning, and it will be met with people commenting “ Merry Christmas.”
It would be interesting to see though, behind the scenes of those who will share and post, what they are feeling and going through right now.
I could share a good handful of people from this week alone who have lost loved ones, who have become sick with Covid, and those who have just found themselves on a rollercoaster of emotions through this whole year. I know my church itself in this year, has lost almost fifty people through different illnesses, and physical complications.
We pray for people for healing, we pray for people to get through their situations, but sometimes the road is long for that, and sometimes healing does not come on this side of heaven.
“ O Holy Night,” is about the story of Jesus coming into the world. It was interesting enough also written by an atheist and has a remarkable history of bringing comfort and healing during very difficult times.
Jesus was born during the time that King Herod had placed a command to murder any child under two years old, and it was because he had word that the child would be born and would be the Messiah. (Matthew 2:1-12)
“A thrill of hope…” This part of the song is about having the expectation in our souls that Jesus will take care of whatever we need, “ The weary world rejoices.” Is the knowing deep down that His joy is our strength no matter what we face.
To have hope is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it is hard to keep doing at the toughest moments but allowing the joy that only comes from Jesus to be what pushes us through, that is the deeper meaning of the song.
It was Christmas Eve, 1870. The Franco-Prussian war was raging on. In the middle of the gunfire, a French soldier felt led to come out from safety of the ditch completely exposed and there he stood and looked at the stars and began to sing, “ O Holy Night.” The Germans instead of continuing to fight; were moved to also begin to sing the lyrics. The rest of the evening was decided there would not be a further war on Christmas.
I can only imagine what it must have been like for that French soldier without fear to get up in the middle of loud gunfire, probably not even able to see very far in front of him, not knowing where the enemy was right at the moment or if he may be shot…but to place full focus on the peace above him and then that peaceful presence moving into everyone on that field that is the power of God, that is what it is to find the joy of the Lord in the middle of our circumstances.
To those whose loved ones names will be missing from gifts under the tree this year, I pray the Lord would be so near to you and that your weary heart would find comfort and peace in this time. I pray you will find a moment to smile and not feel guilty about it, and let the joy of Jesus fill your spirits.
To those that are fighting covid right now, I pray for healing and that in this time of rest God would show you somethings you need to see about yourself or life, and just whatever your future needs may be after the healing comes.
To those who are just at wits end of what to do right now in your life, I pray you would know you are seen and you are loved and that you are not alone in whatever you are facing right now.
I want to end this with the lyrics to “ O Holy Night,” and let the lyrics fall deep.
“O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Saviors 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!
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
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; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim..”
I pray that the rest of this year would be reflection and that you would see the goodness of the Lord handprints from the beginning of 2021 and going into 2022.
He will always be faithful. His joy is our strength today, tomorrow and always.