A Thrill of Hope This Christmas

Christmas-HopeA Thrill of Hope This Christmas

Christmas 2020 is sure to be one we will not forget.

At the time I am writing this blog, there are already numerous cancellations of Christmas traditions we love. But, COVID-19 cannot cancel Christmas.

In fact, this COVID-19 Christmas may be one that we remember as being a time when we understood the words of the hymn O Holy Night more than ever before.

Below, you will find the full, original lyrics of the classic Christmas hymn. Imagine your favorite version of it playing as you read the words.

Hear the Carol


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 soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

 

Chorus

Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!

O night divine! O night when Christ was born.

O night, O holy night, O 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;

 

Chorus

He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!

Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Behold your King! your King! before him bend!

 

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!

 

Chorus

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

His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!


We are Weary, So Were They

Many of us are feeling weary.

2020 included natural disasters, a pandemic, racial strife, and an election to mark history.

That’s a lot of tumultuous things to go through in one year! It’s no wonder we are feeling tired and weary.

It can be easy to be so focused on what we’ve been through that we believe we are the only ones who have had it this way. And that simply isn’t true. Consider the true Christmas story.

Christianity Today explains, “A child is conceived out of wedlock. A social stigma accompanies Joseph’s decision to take Mary to be his wife. Infertility characterizes the experience of Zechariah and Elizabeth. A refugee family moves away from family at the most inopportune time of a child’s life in order to live among strangers in a foreign land. A massacre of children takes place in the town that the holy family has fled. Suffering haunts every corner of the birth narratives. Pain and loss mark the experiences of each character in these narratives.”

They were weary!

When Jesus arrived as a baby, it signified that hope and joy still exist even during suffering.

We Experience a Thrill of Hope for the Same Reason They Did

Whenever I hear the line, “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,” I get chills.

Considering how weary they were and how great the world’s need was for a Savior, I can only imagine the thrill of hope they experienced on the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

Like those in Biblical times, we too can experience this thrill of hope for the same reason.


Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.


We live in a world in need of a Savior. We have all sinned and erred. We have all been lost. But God sent Jesus to the world as a baby. He had a plan.

That baby would grow up and give His life for us on a cross.

O’ what thrill of hope the weary world rejoices!

Truly He Taught Us to Love One Another

The third verse of the hymn isn’t always sung, but it is a powerful one. It’s last but certainly not least.

When we consider all the hurt and sorrow witnessed in 2020 because of the way we treated others, it is convicting yet powerful.


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.


Did you know the reason O Holy Night became popular in America is because of this verse?

According to Discover Grace, “The American writer and abolitionist, John Sullivan Dwight, was moved deeply when he heard the lines of the third verse […] Dwight translated the French song into English and printed ‘O Holy Night’ in his magazine. The song quickly found favor during the Civil War, especially in the North, as an anthem for freedom.”

As we move toward Christmas 2020 in a year of broken politics, noisy and violent riots, and disturbing images plastered across nightly news broadcasts during a time focused on everything but peace, may we remember the lines of this verse.

“His law is love and His gospel is peace.”

What We Can Learn from The Surprising History of O Holy Night

O Holy Night is also the first song to ever be broadcast live.

Discover Grace explains, “On Christmas Eve in 1906, radio operators on ships and wireless owners at newspapers were shocked to hear something no one had ever heard over the radio — a human voice. Reginald Fessenden spoke the first words ever broadcast over the radio airwaves: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…’ And after reading Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, he picked up his violin and began to play the first song ever broadcast over the airwaves: O Holy Night.”

There is a reason why O Holy Night has been sung millions of times all over the world. It speaks to us.

We recognize that we are weary and in need of the Savior – just as Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and wise men were over 2,000 years ago.

Join us for Christmas!