With warm greetings, I wish you a very joyous and jubilant Christmas. May this special season of Jesus Christ’s birth be residing and resting in each place of your hearts as well as your lives, bringing His peace, comfort, and joy.
Truly it’s a time to see the sights of multi-colored lights and children’s glowing smiles and rosy cheeks waiting to be squeezed and kissed. The sounds of jingle bells ring out on street corners hoping for folks to stop and give a few coins that will give someone a helping hand. As you shop, you hear the songs of Christmas, and on the radio you hear “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and “O Holy Night.” All around it reminds us that this is Christmas time, a time for glad tidings, but for some it means trying to survive what doesn’t seem like the most wonderful time of the year at all.
I have been praying and asking the Lord what He wants me to receive from Him at this Christmas season and in what ways my heart could prepare a place for Him and birth new beginnings.
While baking Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas carols, “O Holy Night” in particular, I was singing and rolling out cookies, and unexpectedly, there it was! The phrase that God wanted me to take and run with, meaning to meditate on, to contemplate on, and to facilitate a place for Jesus in my busy and hectic schedule jumped out at me! The essential meaning of this great anthem, this great Christmas hymn jumped out at me—All oppression shall cease!
I invite you to enjoy what I received from the Father and may it bless you as it blessed me and may it give you a newer and richer experience with Jesus during this Christmas time. It truly is a Christmas Anthem of and for all time.
The story of this song, “O Holy Night,” began in the 1840’s in France when a priest asked a poet to write a poem for Christmas Mass. So Placide Cappeau composed this poem, and since he was so impressed by his own poem, he asked a well-known classical musician to compose a musical score for it. In a mere three weeks’ time, it was performed at a Christmas Eve Mass in an obscure French village with a choir celebrating Jesus’ birth, singing the words of “O Holy Night.”
In the first stanza, the author shares the birth of Christ and how His birth awakened the whole world…a birth that brought a new and glorious morn to everyone on earth.
Quite interestingly enough, it seemed that Cappeau was an unlikely man to write such holy lyrics being he was a wine merchant, a poet, and not much of a churchgoer. He was considered by many to be less than worthy of such a task. Some considered him to be profane, and even a troublemaker. He was indeed a social radical, being politically incorrect, and was known for his opposition to things like injustice, inequality, and oppression. When the church leaders in France learned about the facts of Cappeau’s life, they officially banned the song as “unfit for church services.” But it was too late! “O Holy Night” had already become one of the most beloved Christmas songs in France.
So much could be said for this alone, that Cappeau, in the religious eyes of the church, was truly not qualified to write such a hymn. No matter how the church leaders tried to crush life out of this hymn, the words were true to the Gospel message, and it has lived on ever since. So we can clearly see that God just loves to use the common people in life. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says: “He loves to use the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” This makes us all prime candidates to be used of God, doesn’t it?
Still it’s really the third stanza I want to linger on and have you notice and relish the themes of emancipation and liberation. It’s in this stanza that that amazing phrase gripped me:
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.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
As beautiful as these words are, let us, however, look at the original French poem—the literal translation of the third stanza and chorus—where the themes of emancipation are even stronger in:
“The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Loves unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude?
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer.”
As you can see, this original translation is so powerfully strong and so triumphantly freeing that we need to let this original version sink into our very being. It speaks of our day and times even as it spoke of their lives at the time of its writing.
What are your iron-clad chains? What and who enslaves you where you should be called “brother?” What oppression in your life needs to be finished or needs to cease? For the Redeemer has overcome all of these obstacles in His name: the name of Jeshua, the name of YAHWEH, the name of Jesus, the name of Ruler and King, the name of Alpha and Omega, the name of Savior, the name of Redeemer, the name of Comforter, the name of Protector, the name of Deliver—the matchless name of J E S U S!
Moreover, He wants to give YOU His personal Holy Night where the stars are brightly shinning upon you so you can truly experience the night of the dear Redeemer’s birth. Then He may appear and your soul can feel the worth and thrill of hope and you will break into a new and glorious morn—that morn where Earth is set free and Heaven is accessible to you—falling on your knees and hearing the angel voices!
In His name “ALL oppression shall cease” because the “Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:” all persecution of false guilt and shame; repression from pain of every kind; all wrong accusations; and domination and control whether through sickness, disease, or financial ruin will be terminated because of the Name of our Redeemer Jesus! All depression, despair, and sense of hopelessness will come to an end because of the Name of our Redeemer Jesus! Cruelty and tyranny from relationships, church members, neighbors or family will end because of the Name J E S U S!
People stand up!
People sing your deliverance for the Redeemer has come!
He has overcome every obstacle in order to magnify His Holy Night and His Holy Name in your life at this Christmas Season and throughout the New Year!