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Summary: Christmas is an ideal opportunity to rekindle the hope that all humankind can experience the transformation of God.

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O HOLY NIGHT: FROM SECULAR TO SACRED

Advent 2007: “Christmas in Song and Story”

Week #1

Micah 5:2

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

Sermon Objective: Christmas is an ideal opportunity to rekindle the hope that all humankind can experience the transformation of God.

This is our first week of Advent. This year’s theme is “Christmas in Story and Song.” We will use a different Christmas Hymn/Carol each week as out theme.

In coming weeks we will look at:

• Joy to the World

• Come, O Come Emmanuel

• Come All Ye Faithful Silent Night (Christmas Eve Service)

Today’s theme is O Holy Night.

O HOLY NIGHT: THE LYRICS

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

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! Oh, 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!

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 wisemen from out of the Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friends.

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,

With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

SERMON INTRO:

Most didn’t think much of the song when it was written. Not because the song itself was without merit but because they didn’t much appreciate its author. Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was a poet commissioned by a French Bishop. He was considered by many to be less-than-worthy of such a task. Some considered him profane – others thought of him as a trouble maker at best. He was indeed a social radical; known for his opposition to things like injustice, inequality, and oppression. He tended to be out spoken as I recall. This, of course, is not who the sterilized, high-brow Saints would want writing a hymn for Christmas!

Adams, the one who wrote the music to the song, was just as unqualified … he was, after all, a Jew!

The problem was that in spite of the criticism of some, the song struck a nerve with the masses. It spoke to them. And, as we now know from our Children’s story this morning, it swept across globe proclaiming the simple Gospel. To this day it is one of the world’s most favorite and familiar Christmas carols.


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