O Holy Night

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Looking at Christmas Songs a little deeper

Notes
Transcript

O Holy Night

Intro
One thought that I often have during this time of year, yes Christmas time.
One thought I have is, what was that night like?
That night when Christ was born?
We recognize Christ birth.
It is not just the Christs that do, I mean Christians for sure celebrate for a little different reasons, but even even those who do not go to church, some still feel a pull to go to church during this time of year.
Why?
Because it is important.
The world recognizes the birth of Christ because that is what they are doing as they celebrate Christmas.
The why is not really the question I want answered though- it is what was that night like.
When the King of Kings was born- in a Bethlehem- In a Manger- In a stable.
I do not like I am alone in this, because of songs like silent night, Away in a manger, and there are plenty others that try to grasp this idea.
One of my favorites that tries to grasp that idea of the night of Jesus’ birth is called O Holy Night.
O HOLY NIGHT— This is the song that we are looking at tonight.
And Next week for Parents week we are going to be looking at O Come O Come Emmanuel.
You will not want to miss that as we talk about that song with your parents.
Since you know that is Parents Night! WOOT WOOT!
It is going to be awesome be able to see and meet some of your parents!
Alight since I have plugged Parents’ Night enough lets get back to O Holy Night
This song is very rich lyrically, but before we jump into that, lets talk just a bit about its author.
When you hear that song, I would not call it boring, as I really do enjoy it.
AS for how the song came about— that story is also anything but boring.
This song that we Call O Holy Night, started out as a poem, written by Placide Cappeau who was a poet and wine merchant.
(Picture of Cappeau)
He only had one hand (His other one was shot off by a friend) (pretty crappy friend if you ask me)
But he was someone who did not care too much about Church, God or even Jesus for that matter- He would be what we call an atheist.
“O Holy Night” is the product of circumstance in southern France.
In the medieval town of Requemaure (Re/Kay/More) in 1843, the parish priest of the local church wanted to commemorate the renovations to the church organ.
The repairs of an organ is what drove the creation of this song, first in the form of a poem.
It started out being called Midnight, Christians.
The priest wanted the poem in song form so he suggested that Cappeau take it to a one- Adolphe Adams (Picture of Adams)
Adams was actually a friend of Cappeau — He was not the same friend who shot off Cappeau’s hand— I looked it up.
Adams was a Jewish composer who did a great job composing the song.
The song was simply called Christmas Carol.
The song was an instant hit for churches in France.
AH but then there was a problem.
Cappeau who was the poet- he was someone who did not care too much about Church, God or even Jesus for that matter- He would be what we call an atheist.
Outraged, the church leadership banned the song from the French liturgy. The French people wouldn’t let the song go, and for a time it lived on outside the church.
Eventually, this tune reached the ears of John Sullivan Dwight (PICTURE OF DWIGHT)
He was an American Unitarian Minister, influential music critic, and part-time Santa impersonator, he was also a Tran scen dent alist which means that he believed that there is an inherent goodness to everything and everyone.
This line of thought would be counter Gospel- As - We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
ANYWAY
Dwight, took the song translated it to English and called it O Holy Night.
The Song would be changed over the next couple hundred years into the version we have today.
One last little bit about this song:
There is one more little oddity with this story.
Legend has it that “Cantique de Noël” The Christmas Carol verison of the song- played a part in the Franco-Prussian War.
During a lull in battle on December 24th, 1870, French troops started singing the carol from their trench, and it moved the German soldiers so much, they began to sing one of Martin Luther’s hymns-
Luther was a responsible for a major shift called the reformation, we do not have time to get into that. BUT
The impromptu battle of the bands resulted in a 24-hour truce so the soldiers on both sides could celebrate Christmas.
There isn’t much proof that this actually happened, but it may have lead to the growth in popularity of the tune across France at the time and its eventual reinstatement into French churches.
So that’s “O Holy Night,” a song written by a Jewish man,
based on a poem by a French atheist,
rejected by the church,
translated by an American Tran scen dent a list,
maybe sung on battlefields with German troops,
and most certainly sung every year by more and more singers who don’t give a rip about any of this.
That is the origin story of O Holy Night:
So lets actually look at the lyrics of this song

CHRIST HAS COME

O Holy Night! The Stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear saviors birth.”
Even though Cappeau was an atheist- He used Luke to write his poem.
It is It is only natural that this is where we go as well.
Luke 2:1
Luke 2:1–7 ESV
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Since sin entered into the world this plan— this redemptive place was in the works and now!
Right here, right now everything from the first couple chapters of Genesis all through the OT has been building to this moment.
God was coming to be with His People.
All of the predictions, all of the talk of the future descendent that would come and take away the sins of the world was now present.
On this night, this dark, anything but silent, Holy Night.
It came to pass that Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ earthly parents had to go and register- every so often this would happen and everyone had to go back home and register
I am so thankful for the invention of not only the postal service, but also the internet where all of our registration can be done via the internet/ or postal service.
Well anyway- Joe and Mary, found themselves far from home and no place to stay, or at least that is what he most often say.
So they end up staying in a manger
But I just want to share with you a bit where we may be just a little off in our portrayal of the Birth of Christ.
Mary and Joe, were heading to Bethlehem, where Joseph’s family was from- in Jewish culture- the family would have hosted Mary and Joe giving them a place to stay
The term inn that is seen in the ESV may not have been the most accurate for the greek word Katalyma (Ka ta luma). It means lodging.
Meaning most likely here is how it should read.
Luke 2:7 CSB
Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke
No guest room- here is what the houses would have looked like in the 1st century.
(SHOW PICTURE)
They most likely did stay in the lower part of the house, was their animals around them?
Maybe?
I don’t know- maybe the family cleaned it for them?
Yet they left a manger which was made of stone, much like this one.
(PICTURE)
Here is the thing— Does it change the story of Christ? NOPE
It is like the story that says Michael Jordan was cut from basketball his freshmen year.
He wasn’t he didn't play varsity basketball his freshmen year, he still made the team.
Jesus may not have been born in a stable surrounded by animals, or in a cave— He was still born.
The where and who was there has no bearing on the fact that the Son of God came here to be with his People
God came to this earth on a night that is very much HOLY.
But why? Why did Jesus come this way?

Our Broken World Needed Jesus

Before i start this next section, I want to tell you a little story.
When I was growing up I loved building with legos!
They are the greatest creation of our time I believe.
You can build virtually anything you want want!
But they are so fragile- or FRAGILLLLY
So growing up as the oldest brother; i built the coolest things.
I had constructed this rocket/boat/car it was the best.
It was also like a home away from home!
I loved this creation.
I mean can you name a vehicle that did all of those things
Didn’t think so.
So you can imagine my horror when I walked in on day and saw that it was broken, the pieces were scattered and there was my little brother and cousin.
I screamed, I yelled, I threaten to beat them- I didn’t want to be called a lair so i did beat them!
Romans 5:18-
I was so mad, I was bitter
It was broken.
I forgave them kinda of eventually.
That was me growing up and you may have similar experience.
Not more than a year ago, my beautiful wife started collecting Harry Potter legos.
She put them together, and she would put them up where the kids would touch them.
SO MANY LEGOS!
She loved putting them together.
One day they were in the toy room.
Our 6 and 4 year old were playing with them.
They were taking pieces off, breaking all the work that Brittni had done.
My kids self was just a wreck!
You know how Brittni responded, she walked in and she played with them, she told them don’t worry that she will fix it, she will repair the damages, the brokenness.
A response that I would have had when my rocket, boat, car was broken is how I think many of us think God responded when Sin entered the world.
Instead God walks in and says i will repair the brokenness, the damage done, i will fix it.
In your life right now damaged and broken you may be, God can walk into your life and say, I can fix this, I already fixed the world, what is one more soul?
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morning.”
Romans 5:18–21 ESV
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You know when Adam and Eve where in the garden and it seemed like they doomed all of humanity when they gave into their pride and tried to be like God—
On the worse day in human history, do you know what God was doing?
Genesis 3:8 ESV
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:
God was walking— He didn’t run to them and grab them and shake them, and yell do you know what you have done?!?
He walked in the garden— On the worst day in human history, the day that the world was broken— His perfect, good world was damaged goods—
God never panicked, he walked into the mess, he walked into the brokenness.
Before i start this next section, I want to tell you a little story.
When I was growing up I loved building with legos!
They are the greatest creation of our time I believe.
You can build virtually anything you want want!
But they are so fragile- or FRAGILLLLY
So growing up as the oldest brother; i built the coolest things.
I had constructed this rocket/boat/car it was the best.
It was also like a home away from home!
I loved this creation.
I mean can you name a vehicle that did all of those things
Didn’t think so.
So you can imagine my horror when I walked in on day and saw that it was broken, the pieces were scattered and there was my little brother and cousin.
I screamed, I yelled, I threaten to beat them- I didn’t want to be called a lair so i did beat them!
I was so mad, I was bitter
It was broken.
I forgave them kinda of eventually.
That was me growing up and you may have similar experience.
Not more than a year ago, my beautiful wife started collecting Harry Potter legos.
She put them together, and she would put them up where the kids would not touch them. (PICTURE)
SO MANY LEGOS!
She loved putting them together.
One day they were in the toy room.
Our 6 and 4 year old were playing with them.
They were taking pieces off, breaking all the work that Brittni had done. (PICTURE MESS)
My kid self was just a wreck!
You know how Brittni responded, she walked in and she played with them, she told them don’t worry that she will fix it, she will repair the damages, the brokenness.
A response that I would have had when my rocket, boat, car was broken is how I think many of us think God responded when Sin entered the world.
Instead God walks in and says i will repair the brokenness, the damage done, i will fix it.
In your life right now damaged and broken you may be, God can walk into your life and say, I can fix this, I already fixed the world, what is one more soul?
Are we all broken, yep!
But that has never stopped God from walking into our lives.
He responded to the brokenness by sending His son Jesus.
It was the exact and only thing we needed and will ever need.
Jesus
Why Jesus? Because Jesus is the breaker of chains.

Jesus is the breaker of chains

“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.”
Romans 13:8 ESV
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:
Romans 13:9–10 ESV
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 13:
Galatians 5:1 ESV
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:
Some of have been set free, yet we are walking around like we are still in chains.
We are living life under this yoke that Christ took on himself and pinned it on the cross and said IT IS FINISHED!
SO let me ask you a questions:
Why are you holding on to those chains—
They have been broken, they have been unlocked, you are not held down by them anymore, you have been set free—
God is not looking at your chains—
He is not looking at your sin because Jesus is right next to the Father going they are covered, my blooded covered those sins
You see you are the only one holding onto those chains— STOP IT!
Let them go!
JESUS IS LOVE- THE GOSPEL IS PEACE
This is what we get to bask in!
HE IS ENOUGH!
And when the world rises against you!
Because it will!
John 15:18–19 ESV
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15:
The world is going to hate you— But listen loved one!
WE KNOW THE END OF THE STORY!
JESUS WINS
Jesus will shut the oppressors up!
HE WINS
STOP ACTING LIKE YOU ARE ON THE LOSING TEAM!
YOU ARE NOT!
If you do not know who this Jesus is, oh a pray you would.
He is the great decision you will ever make in your life.
One who gave it all for you, no matter your past, your present our your future— Jesus covered your sins and HE LOVE YOU!
You can talk to any leader here tonight about following Jesus, we would be thrilled to talk to you about Him.
Let me end with this:
It started with the birth, it was confirmed through the death and resurrection and it will conclude with Christ’s Glorious return!
This Christmas Season, rejoice that he have a savior who joined us in this messy, broken world, and through His love for us- he took on our sin and died and rose again- Rejoice that he will return!
Lets Pray
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