Theology of Christmas Carols Part 3 – O Holy Night .pdf
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Theology of Christmas Carols – O Holy Night
HISTORY OF O HOLY NIGHT
A Socialist, A Jew, and an Abolitionist write a Christmas song…
1. The author was not a Christian.
In 1847, a well known Socialist poet Placide Cappeau was approached by a local
Priest to write a poem for a Christmas Mass. He decided to put it to music so he
asked a Jewish man, Adolphe Charles Adams. It became a hit in churches, but was
later was banned by the Catholic Church.
2. The song was a favorite of abolitionists during the American Civil War.
John Sullivan Dwight, a fervent abolitionist fell in love with the song and translated
the song into English and published it with the title “O Holy Night” in a American
magazine. The song caught on quickly, especially in the North during the civil war.
3. It was the first song ever broadcast live
Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden was an early pioneer of radio broadcasting
and claimed to have made the first ever transmission of voice and music.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF JESUS’ DAY
First, when Christ was born, the word of God had not been heard for four centuries.
Second, the people of God were under the oppressive rule of Rome. (all the world
Third, the nation of Israel was fracturing. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots
How cool is it that New Years is right after Christmas? Right after Christ came, new
This carol teaches: 1. The World Needs A New Morning, The World Needs Faith, and
The World Needs Love and Peace.
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Two Keys To See Your Life Shift -
Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not
1. Recognize the Holiness of the Moment – It is the night!
2. Recognize the Dawning of the New Day – The soul felt its worth, A thrill of hope
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
Two Keys to ‘Make It’ –
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
3. The Faith That Will Always Lead You – Glowing hearts standing in his presence
4. The Friendship That Will Never Leave You – He’s been where you are
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
Two Keys To Knowing God’s Heart –
Rom. 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who
can be against us?
5. The Heart of God is Love – Law of love, gospel of peace. He taught us HIS law
and HIS gospel
6. The Heart of God is Justice – All oppression shall cease – The slave is our
Conclusion: Worship, The Response of the Heart
‘Raise the chorus of joy, let all within us praise his holy name’
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
There are our own friends and family who are shackled by grief and depression and
loneliness, and people we don’t even know who are held in bondage by oppressive
systems and the power of prejudice. Do we have a song to sing to them, a song about
hope? Do we have a story to tell them, a story about a the worth of their soul and new and
glorious morn? I believe we do.
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