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O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’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,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the 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.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, 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 he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Lyrics:  Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure 1847
Music:  Adolphe Charles Adams

 

Today, in a commercial ad, I read the words “A thrill of hope…” It reminded me of the rest of the phrase. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…

This was the beginning of a new day for the people of GOD. They were truly weary! They had not heard anything from GOD or a prophet for over 400 years! Even those who had been hopeful about the coming of Messiah were losing hope. The idea that Messiah was coming to rescue them from Roman rule felt like a pipe dream. They wondered if GOD had forgotten them.

A new day had dawned…very quietly.

But in just a few years, Jesus’ ministry would turn their world upside down! His death and resurrection would result in their sins forgiven and consciences clear. The Holy Spirit would be living inside of them to guide them and remind them of Jesus’ teaching and how it needed to rightly be applied to their lives. Despite the relative quiet of Jesus’ birth, it began a period of huge change for GOD’s people that extends to this time! If you haven’t done so in awhile, make some time to read Acts. Especially the part that talks about the changes that took place during the development of the early church. It was a wild and wooly time.

It’s easy to identify with the weariness of the world at the time of Jesus’ birth, isn’t it?

It is easy for us to identify with the time Jesus was born, isn’t it? Our world is weary too. So is all of creation. We see it in the many natural disasters. But into that weariness and gloom, came Jesus, the promised King. It was very quiet and definitely not in the expected place, nor from the expected people, but He came just the same! As He grew into adulthood, His message got out and those who were paying close attention realized who He was!

What was the hopeful part about His coming?

This was GOD in the flesh, come to earth. The fact that this GOD/man was able to pay the penalty for our sin and in so doing, to provide reconciliation between us and GOD. To bring about peace with GOD for us was profoundly amazing!
The use of hope in the Bible tends to carry the meaning of something that is as sure as the promises of GOD. So at a time when many were giving up hope that this promise of Messiah coming was a promise that GOD had forgotten, to have Him come was something to rejoice over. It made no difference that the setting was an unexpected one. As time went on, the nature of His ministry was quite different as well! It really showed up when He ended up dying on a cross!

Our response to this good news? Worship

Fall on your knees! And worship this King and Redeemer!

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it,
in hope
that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and
obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons,
the redemption of our bodies.

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:19-24 ESV

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain,
that is, through his flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for he who promised is faithful.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:9-25 ESV

Originally written in 2018.  I apologize. i have tried everything i know to do in terms of editing and code and can NOT get spaces in this post. I’m so sorry. I hope you can overlook the ugly post and enjoy its content.  martha

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