I love Christmas. Everything about it makes my heart happy – family, friends, food, and Christmas music. If it were socially acceptable, I would listen to Christmas music all year long. This year I have made it a point to not just let Christmas music be background filler while decorating my tree or making gifts. I’ve tried extra hard to listen to what Christmas songs are really all about. Some songs are full of warm fuzzy feelings of love while others are about what people hope to find under the tree on Christmas morning. All of these things have a part in the Christmas holiday, but how do they prepare us for Christ’s birth? After all, isn’t that what we are really preparing for?
My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. Most of us are familiar with the song; in fact it very well may be your favorite Christmas song too. What I love about this song is that it reminds me that Christmas is a big deal. From the very beginning of creation God promised us a savior. The people of the Old Testament journeyed and longed for the coming of the Messiah. They faced times of trials and hardships as well as abundance and joy. At times they doubted in God’s plan, and other times they trusted that He would do as he said.
And He did. He sent his Son.
We are not unlike the people of the Old Testament. We are on a journey too, and we continually wait for God’s answer to our prayers. Luckily for us we are reminded every year of God’s unconditional love at Christmas.
My favorite part of the song is the beautiful and simple chorus. Most versions make it loud and full because it declares Christ’s birth. For me, this declaration is also a call to humility. It helps me recognize my shortcomings and my own need for a savior. It calls me to look beyond what’s immediate and acknowledge that God is moving. We “fall on our knees” because something big is happening; something so big the choirs of angels are crying out in glory to God.
O Holy Night is a reminder that God is faithful no matter how much we sin. What I truly long for this Christmas is a new sense of humility. I want nothing more than to set aside my fears and worries about what’s next in life: to allow my soul to stop for a brief moment so that I can fall on my knees, recognize Christ in my midst, and give thanks to God for my holy and beautiful Savior.
I pray this Christmas you too can take a step back from all the preparations, fall on your knees, and give thanks for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.
Oh, and by the way – here are my top five favorite versions of O Holy Night:
- O Holy Night – Katharine McPhee
- O Holy Night – Mariah Carey
- O Holy Night – Nat “King” Cole
- O Holy Night – Relient K
- O Holy Night – Harry Connick, Jr.