“O Holy Night!”
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born that day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’” Luke 2:10-11. So much doctrine in the old hymns! In the traditional lyrics of “O Holy Night,” the incarnation of Jesus is held up as the answer to mankind’s sin. The picture of creation groaning as it waits for the sons of God to be revealed from Romans 8 is clear in the 1st stanza: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining”—till God became flesh and made His dwelling among us, bringing us hope. In the lesser known 2nd stanza, we jump in this good news of great joy to perhaps two years later. Though scripture tells us that the toddler Jesus and his parents were in a house by the point that the wise men from the East were led by a star (and thus not by a “cradle” or “manger”), gentiles, for whom the gospel would later be opened, still sought the King of Kings. And though His own people at the time rejected Him, the work that Jesus did on the cross would open the gospel up to “all the people” who sought peace with God according to the 3rd stanza. Have you obeyed the good news of great joy?