“Oh 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,
Till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth!
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!
Yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”
The King to a Babe. So my soul could know its worth. So the world would know why they were created and the value of their eternal being. This world whose response to redemptive love is much the same as Valjean’s: “He told me that I have a soul. How does he know?! What spirit comes to move my life? Is there another way to go?”
I love Advent. I love it because it is a season when I soak in “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!” Imagine what those lyrics mean:
The moment when He stepped down from the Throne and humbled himself to a Babe. Fully knowing the future he was walking towards, knowing “they crushed him and killed him” (Stephen Lawhead).
The moment He was born. That blast of hope which shot through the spiritual realm of earth. There is a realm of angels and demons who had been hanging out on earth, experiencing the times of sin separating humans from God and satan usurping authority over the world.
Then the event we celebrate on Christmas.“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!” happened the moment He was born. Just image the spiritual shift that happen the moment He took His first breath! Demons tremble with an unknown fear; angels stir with joy unmeasurable.
“An angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them. . . Suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts (angelic army) praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest!
And on earth peace among men,
with whom He is well-pleased.’ “ (Luke 2, AMP)
Instead of thinking of these angels as messengers with a schedule to follow – once Jesus is born, appear to shepherds on nearby hills and make announcement – think of the hope that shot through the spiritual realm at His first breath. Those angels had been waiting for this moment. Can you picture the spontaneous joy? The awe-inspiring sound of that worshiping choir?? Singing out the words God had been longing to declare to His broken children since the moment they broke.
“Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” The soul felt its worth – the souls of the world received a declaration that night, “Peace to men, with whom God is well-pleased.” Earth’s souls, for the first time, were awakened to their worth. The last time all mankind was told “I’m well-pleased with you” was Eden. At Jesus’ birth, a truth was declared which would be fulfilled with a Cross and empty Grave. God is well-pleased with man. Sin no longer separates the children from their Father.
“You came! I knew that you would come! You sang! My heart it woke up” (Jonathan Helser).
This is what my heart screams. What I know in the depths of my being. Every day the assurance of His presence and Life. My beloved, beloved Emmanuel.
But there was a moment when He chose. Set aside the crown. Become a babe. Chose a life that was a walk to the Cross. My assurance and comfort now was bought with a Life sacrificed.
“For unto us a Child is born…”
Gave himself as a baby so I could know His God as my God and His Dad as my Dad.
He gave himself willingly. Chose“Oh Holy Night” and Golgotha both.
I’m the one who created this mess. Who broke the world. Ate the fruit. Some people talk about God being angry at Adam and Eve, throwing them out of the Garden in disgust. But in the moment they were bending to satan’s influence, when God was supposedly filled with wrath, he was also setting into motion the rescue plan. Emmanuel making his first step from that Throne to the manger.
His sacrificed life was the plan from eternity. The moment we ruined everything, He was preparing to save. Setting the plan into motion. What kind of King willingly leaves His majestic and all-powerful reign to save a world which destroyed itself, full of souls who think they are worthless?
“You didn’t want Heaven without us, so Jesus you brought Heaven down. My sin was great; your love was greater!” (Hillsong).
King to Babe. Hope shot through the earth. Worth declared by the spiritual hosts who’d been waiting for that night.
How do you respond that? How can anyone say anything to that depth of love? To that grace?
My only response is to fall on my knees; my soul can only cry “Christ is the Lord! Oh praise His name forever! His power and glory everymore proclaim!”