O Holy Night- this is my favorite Christmas carol. Maybe because I’m a soprano and feel like Celine Dion when I sing it. I sound just like her, too. (I wish my wordpress blog app had an emoji laughing so hard it’s crying- yeah you know the one.) The words always seem to take me to the scene of Christ’s birth, when God answered a weary world’s prayer by sending an unassuming child to its rescue. I’ve pulled out some special lyrics in keeping with the theme of surviving relationship distress as a special gift for all of us this Christmas.
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth…
There are specific times in my life that I have actually felt my worth; standing in the light of God’s presence looking into a sunset or a blizzard or a rainbow, writing by the water, alone in my car, aware of my smallness and his immense presence. I feel that He sees me, knows me and loves me. This is what I think of when I read the words, “till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” That maybe my soul could never really feel precious until Christ’s love made it feel that way.
What if the soul really knew its worth? What if Christ could consume a soul to the point that it never felt insecurities or shame or flawed? What was the writer of this Christmas carol thinking when he penned these words? He, like so many, probably doubted his worth until he felt God’s loving attention.
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
There are times in our lives where we feel bound, trapped, and imprisoned in life. We may feel like our life’s decisions are controlled by someone else, and we are enslaved to what that person wants. In the worst cases, where freedom looks impossible, O Holy Night reminds us that spiritual freedom still exists. Spiritual equality and freedom can be an inner reality, even if it is not currently our relational reality.
and in His name, all oppression shall cease…
There is real oppression in the world, and in families, in churches and in relationships. Maybe you’ve felt it too. The trapped feeling between what someone else needs, and what you need. Or the impossible decision between living in a loveless relationship or living alone. Or living up to perfectionistic standards in order to be loved. The feeling as if you’re losing a piece of yourself every time you say “yes.”
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
The one thing I know from working 15 years in this business, is that morning comes. Winter turns to spring, and the time for suffering burns out like an ember. Brave people make impossible decisions, smart people unwind themselves from other’s control, humble people follow after God’s ways and not man’s. The tired and the beat down risk everything to believe that they are worth something- that their soul is worth something. Dawn breaks, a new morning appears, and the time for hopeful living arrives.
Oh night, oh night divine, when Christ was born.
Merry Christmas to all the brave, smart and humble people who look for the thrill of hope Christ brings in the season of Christmas. Merry Christmas to the tired and beat down who will take a risk and feel their worth through God. Merry Christmas to the person who has to hold on to her spiritual freedoms because relationally, she feels enslaved. Merry Christmas to the soul who still needs to feel its worth.