O holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
As far as the world knew, it was an ordinary night, like any other. Nothing special seemed to be happening. Sleep came easily for some, while others it evaded. Some rested in contentment, while others wrestled with worries. The night came and the night went, just as it always had.
But in the tiny town of Bethlehem, the night was anything but ordinary. Bursting at the seams, Bethlehem rang out with activity as people from all over the land had returned to their hometown to register for taxes (Lk. 2:1-2). It was a busy and bustling place. Some families and friends were reuniting and celebrating. Some were angry at the inconvenience of having to return to Bethlehem at all. Many were likely weary from their long and arduous journeys. Yet in all the activity, no one recognized just how "unordinary" this night really was.
In the heavens, though, this night was extraordinary. Pregnant with anticipation, the holy courts of God watched and waited for the moment to come. The Holy Son of God had descended to earth - God become man! This was an event long anticipated by the angels of the Most High. As history had unfolded before them from the beginning, they had watched as God worked to bring about His redemption plan. And now, the mystery of His plan, which had been hidden even from them, was about to be made known to all (1 Peter 1:12).
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
The struggle had always been real: a broken creation was shackled to this sin disease, which was wreaking havoc on every facet of God's good work. All of creation had been groaning in expectation of God's redemption since the moment sin arrived. Humanity suffered worst of all, broken apart within and without, always pining for the healing that only God could offer.
Yet since the beginning of time, God had spoken to mankind of His love and faithfulness. He had promised redemption, and He whispered words of value and worth over people who otherwise had none. Time passed, and His people watched and waited. When would He come? Where was this Deliverer? If only He would make haste to arrive!
God had given His Word that He would make a way for salvation, and He had vowed that His Word would not return to Him empty (Is. 55:10-11). And now, on this night, this holy night, God's Word became flesh! He dwelt among us (John 1:14). His Word, His only Son, took the very form of a servant, humbling Himself first as an innocent and helpless baby, and later to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:6-8). Royalty become poverty. Divinity become man. And the soul feels its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
All of Heaven burst forth in celebration. He had been born! He, the unmatchable, wonder-working King of all kings, was now flesh on earth! The celebrations couldn't be contained as God's glorious courts spilled over onto the earthly stage. The supernatural met the natural in a spectacular display of God's majesty.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!" The hosts of angels proclaimed their message to a group of stinky, lowly shepherds on a hillside (Luke 2:8-19). Can you imagine? It had been just a normal, silent, starry night. There had been no forthcoming signs to the world, no recent declarations of His coming. The people had been looking and waiting, but for this they did not see. He was not the warrior king they were expecting. He was not the fierce ruler they had hoped would deliver them. He was an infant; but little did they know the power His life would hold. With His birth came the dawn of a new age, a new covenant with the Holy God. From this tiny infant would come the way to salvation for all who would call on Him.
Fall on your knees. O hear the angels voices. O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
Fall on your knees! Fall before the infant King, the God King, the Redeemer. Worship! "Fear not," the angels said. Fear not, but never be the same. Fear not, but be not unchanged. Fear not, but come in surrender. Fall on your knees, dear shepherds. There was no other proper response.
Fall on your knees. Do not miss Him in all the distractions of the season. Fall before the Risen King, Jesus Christ, the Holy One, the Savior of the World. Worship! Fear not, and take hold of the life He offers. Fear not, and embrace the power of redemption. Fall before Him, dear child of God! There is no other proper response.
O night divine, O night, O night divine.
He came that night on a mission of restoration. He had an eternal purpose set forth from the beginning of time. God became man and dwelt among us.
He did not come for our lip service. He did not come for our mediocre prayers of commitment without life change. His mission was for restoration and redemption, a radical rearranging of our lives. Let us not ever cheapen the Gospel of Christ to think that He would work such a mighty act of redemption just so we could pray a prayer to avoid the consequences of our sins. His Gospel is so much greater than that!
On that divine night, He came for us, for our entire beings, our hearts' allegiance. All the rest will follow. The Father sent the Son "to proclaim good news to the poor...to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor" (Is. 61:1; Luke 4:18-19). In a sense, the salvation Christ offers really is that easy, for He has worked it all out on our behalf. At the same time, though, it is the costliest of choices, for it requires all of you.
Glory to God, His redemption is our life. Fall on your knees. Worship Him, chasing the genuine life as a true follower of Christ.