Advent Series: O Holy Night

By Linnette Bachman

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

So much of my story lies in sin and error pining. Though I knew Jesus loved me at a young age, I have lived life in the error of constantly striving to perform, to get my ducks in a row, to live my life “right” in the eyes of those around me. It has been exhausting and impossible! Though my sins were “in my pocket” as good Southerners say, they were a source of deep guilt and shame for me. Yet in these past few years, Jesus has been tearing down these strategies I have to gain approval, acceptance and love apart from Him. And He’s been speaking to me my worth—a worth found not in my performance but found in being His daughter. The end of Galatians 2:20 has come alive for me this fall: “…The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Though I had nothing to offer Him, and was in fact His enemy (Romans 5:10), He loved me! My soul has begun to not only feel its worth but truly believe it as well!

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;

Even with all the good we experience in this life, the many blessings and gifts and joys and beautiful moments, there is still so much pain, sorrow and brokenness. Indeed our world is a weary world. Yet the very appearance of a small baby, the Messiah come in flesh, brings so much hope! Hope that God is real and involved and present with us in the messiness of our daily lives. He is not far off or distant, but an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Advent means coming—Jesus came on that divine night. And he is coming again! This is our sure hope. When I consider his perfect obedience to the law and his lack of sin in any way, I am drawn to fall on my knees in awe, in thanksgiving, and in worship. God made this sinless baby Jesus to become sin for us, that we could receive His righteousness instead (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger;In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

These lyrics are so rich! Here is the King of kings in the most humble of states, lying in a manger—and we have the great privilege to call Him our friend. He wants to meet us in each of our trials. I feel like this stanza is the cry of every momma—at least the cry of this momma—I need help! I am weak! And amazingly, He is not turned off by this or repulsed by our need, but instead loves to meet us. Rather than being impatient with our weaknesses (which I can be with my kids’ weaknesses!) he befriends us. This causes me to pause, behold Him and bow.

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.

We are waiting for the day when all oppression will truly cease. In the meantime, my prayer is that the ideals of love, peace, accepting all people as our brothers and sisters, and ending oppression within our spheres of influence will become increasingly true of us—true of me. And I pray I will pass this along to my children and the women I meet with.

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 evermore proclaim!

I pray this Christmas will be a time when we can all sing sweet hymns of joy and gratitude to the Lord, regardless of the struggles we are facing. I want to behold Him and praise His name with all my heart, rather than be swept into our world’s frantic holiday madness. Christ is the Lord! I want to praise Him and proclaim His power and glory. Will you join me?

O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!

Linnette and her husband Dave began their marriage and Nav staff career in 2005 (EDGE and SIT at Colorado State) and currently lead the NavCity and collegiate work in Nashville. They have 5 children: Kate (10), Kylie (9), McKenzie (7), Daniel (6), and Andrew (2). Linnette and Dave are passionate about the shared mission of raising up disciple-makers and raising up their kids.

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