Listen to this beautiful rendition of O Holy Night...
My favorite line of this hymn...that sends goose bumps racing up and down my arms ~ shivers down my spine is at the first stanza
O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
And the soul felt its worth...that is what this whole season of Advent is about. And not just for one holy night would our souls feel their full worth, but every single day and night. To reiterate, we are not a problem to God. God's entrance into our world was to teach and tell us about love made incarnate, in the flesh, real, tactile and tangible. The sacred love, however, that preaches acceptance, unconditional grace, and radical equality is always going to step on the toes of the powerful who prefer to divide and conquer...who prefer fear-based messages...that everything is someone else's problem. When we feel our soul's full worth, however, we cannot contain that or keep it to ourselves. If our soul is worthy...so is our neighbors...(note the line, "His way is love and his gospel is peace").
In some ways, for me, this Carol is the cliff notes, compact version of the Gospel. This is what is all about. Knowing that grace embraces all of us, changes us (and even challenges us). For a few fleeting moments on Christmas Eve, we know this to be one of the truest truths in the whole world. The challenge is transformation, letting this notion really sink into and saturate everything we do and say and who we are. Just as it is a journey to Bethlehem to behold this truth, so too is it a journey to live this truth every day. We rarely get it right all the time. But within grace is forgiveness and a call back to our full, authentic, soul bearing selves.
I pray this Carol causes you to sense God's presence so close this day and as we anticipate the holy night tomorrow.
Prayer: Let us see, sense, be open, and moved by the holiness of every single night. Amen.