Oh Holy Night

My favorite recording of Oh Holy Night is by the Puppini Sisters.  They are three ladies from Australia, reminiscent of the McGuire Sisters or the Andrews Sisters.  Boogy Woogy Bugle Boy and stuff like that.  To be honest their solo voices are nothing outstanding but the harmony is spectacular.  Oh Holy Night is the only inspirational song on their Christmas album but all the songs are great.  All I Want for Christmas Is You will make you forget the Maria Carey version, something I’ve been trying to do for years.

You can link to their rendition of Oh Holy Night here.  I am hesitant to put the YouTube here because their album cover is…  Well the most charitable thing I can say is it’s tacky.

I have, I think, four Oh Holy Night versions in my playlist.  I prefer the Puppini version because they sing a verse that you don’t  hear in many other performances.  I have found a Josh Groban version that has that verse.  Here it is.

Here are the lyrics.

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 soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

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

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

There’s a phrase in the first verse that catches my eye.  The soul felt its worth.

I look at myself and conclude that I am not worth much.  I am not worth much but I am highly valued by God, so valued that He gave all to redeem me.

But the line that gets left out is this: Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother.

We look at our Nativity scenes and read the Bible story and we get the picture of wise men and shepherds kneeling together before the Christ child.  It probably didn’t happen that way but that image does say something to us.  Rich, educated, powerful kneeling shoulder to shoulder with poor, uneducated and helpless.

Churches tend to develop a culture along the lines of status, education, economic position.  We want to go where people are like us.  We separate ourselves from those others and in the process we feel better about ourselves and look down on the ones who are not like us.

But something happens when we kneel before the Christ child, when we kneel beside those others, when the slave and the king kneel together.  The things that separate us seem to lose their importance when we together submit to the lordship of Christ.

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About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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