A Thrill of Hope


O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til 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! O 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! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Maybe one of the most beautiful Christmas carols ever written is “O Holy Night.” The song reflects not just on the birth of Jesus Christ but also on the redemption of humanity, which was soon to take place when the baby born on Christmas Day became the man who would go to the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. It is a song of hope, a song of looking past present suffering and despair to the glorious hope of the future. Christmas is a time of peace, a time of joy and love, but perhaps most of all, it is a time of hope.

Hope is the theme of this beautiful carol. In the first verse, the song speaks of the pining of the world, a pining that came as a result of sin and error. But because of the birth of the Savior, that pining, that waiting, turns to hope, a hope that causes the world to rejoice because a “new and glorious morn” has broken. And as the final verse of the song points out, that hope is the result of the chains of sin being broken by Jesus, in whose name the oppression of sin and death ceases.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, when we turn from our sin and follow Him, we are set free from the sin that had us bound. Sin no longer has a hold on us. We can rejoice in the knowledge that the death and resurrection of Jesus have redeemed us and made us right before God. With Jesus in our lives, we are able to experience abundant joy. And, although we still go through the difficulties of life, although we still deal with sickness, with pain, and with suffering, we can hold on to a hope that will anchor us and preserve us through those difficulties.

In Romans 8:18, the apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” No matter what we are dealing with in our lives right now, no matter how difficult our present sufferings may be, we can persevere because we have hope, a hope that is found in a future glory. It is a glory that will be revealed when Jesus returns. In that future glory, sickness and death will no longer exist and we will live in the presence of Jesus forever. And it is for that future glory that “the weary world rejoices.”

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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