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O Holy NIght!

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never
end.
He will rule with fairness and
justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity. The passionate
commitment of the Lord of
Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!  Isaiah 9:6-7. (These are the visions that
Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions
during the years when Uzziah, Jothan, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
Isaiah 1:1).
As I read
this prophecy of Isaiah from the 8th Century concerning the birth of
Jesus Christ, I am assured our God is real. 
He lives beyond time. How can mere mortals tell the story of the birth
of Jesus? 
From the
time I was a child, we heard Luke 2 read each Christmas Eve during our family
time.  And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the
world should be registered…
was the beginning.
In 1847,
in France, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure penned the lyrics for ‘O Holy Night’
upon the request of a priest. He, too, turned to the gospel of Luke as his
guide and imagined himself witnessing the birth of Jesus. Placide was known for
his poetry.  As he traveled to the
capital of France in a bumpy carriage ride, he had completed “Cantique de Noel”. The poet’s friend,
Adolphe Charles Adams, was asked to put the words of the poem to music. This
poem captured his desire to write, even though as a Jew, Adolphe did not
celebrate Christmas.
Legend
tells on Christmas Eve, 1871, fierce fighting, a French soldier jumped out of
his muddy trench and began singing all three verses of O Holy Night in French. A German soldier jumped up on the other
side, and began singing, “Vom Himmel noch, da komm ich her…”, beginning Martin
Luther’s “From Heaven Above
to Earth I Come
.” The war was stopped for twenty-four hours while men on
both sides observed peace in honor of Christmas Day in the name of Jesus.
An
American writer, John Sullivan Dwight, felt this wonderful Christmas song
needed to be brought to America.  He
translated the lyrics into English. 


O! Holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
Is is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error, longing
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was Born;
O
night, O holy night, O night divine!
O
night, O holy night, O night divine!
What do these words say? 
What was the response of Mary and the shepherds at the birth of
Jesus? 
But
Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as
it was told them
.
Luke 2:19-20.
         Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
         With glowing hearts by His cradle, we
stand.
         O’er the world a star is sweetly
gleaming,
         Now come the wise men from out of the
Orient land
         The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger;
         In all our trials born to be our friend
         He knows our need, our weakness is no
stranger,
         Behold your King! Before him lowly
bend!
         Behold your King! Before him lowly
bend!
        
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains He shall 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.
       
        
         When I look at your heavens, the work of
your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in
place,
what is man that you
are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for
him?
Psalm 8:3-4.
Yet, O Lord God, of the old,  the new,
and that which is to be, the God who loves and chooses each of us to be holy,
this is our prayer.  Not once a year, but
each moment of each day…
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal
spirit within me.
 Do not banish me from your
presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Psalm 51:11.
            Ephesians 1:2-4 – May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace
and peace.
 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly
realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world,
God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
            1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 – But let us who live in the light be
clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our
helmet the confidence of our salvation.
 For God chose to save us through our
Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 
Christ died for us so that, whether we
are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.


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            Luke
2:12-14 -
And
you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in
strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast
host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God
in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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