O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
One night, set apart by the Creator Himself, witnessed the culmination of centuries of prophesy, preparation, and promise. The heavens aligned to show the way for heaven to come to earth. All of creation swelled with the hope of redemption.
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth
The Messiah. The Chosen One. The Son of God. Human like us, yet divine. Immanuel. God is with us in the flesh, come to walk among His creation and show us a better way.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Generations suffered under the weight of separation from God, some striving through the Law to bridge a gap that man could never close. We cannot save ourselves and it afflicts us. We cannot carry the burden of our humanity. We need help.
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth
Jesus’ willingness to lower Himself to our level demonstrates His great love for us. We who are sinners, unworthy of divine consideration, much less sacrificial love, discover that we are valued. When we see God, in the form of Jesus Christ, it pierces us to the very core. We are seen by Him. And He loves us.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
We are tired. Tired from this world and tired of this world. The work, the pain, the responsibilities, and the suffering – it’s all too much. Until we discover the hope of the Saviour. He lifts our burdens. He joins with us to walk through this world and lighten our load. That knowledge and experience encourages our hearts and infuses us with joy.
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
It is a new era. The old has passed away. We are reborn. Christ’s work began in a manger, ended on a cross, and exploded from a tomb. Behold, all things have been made gloriously new, including us.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
Empty yourself and receive Him. Surrender your old ways and embrace His redeeming work. Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and in Israel He shows forth His glory.
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
Salvation has come.
"Minuit, Chrétiens" by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure. Music by Adolphe Charles Adams. Translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight.