Falling on Our Knees

“Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!”

“How is it that the words of Christmas songs are just so incredibly meaningful?” my oldest daughter asked me yesterday. They really are, aren’t they? This is no doubt the reason that I feel Holy Spirit nudging me to base my Christmas devos this year on this theme. Each day leading up until Christmas, then, I will share with you a few thoughts about one of these exquisite songs.

Today I begin with one of my very favorites (although there are so many that I absolutely relish!). “O Holy Night.” How this melody stirs my heart with wonder, every time I hear it! Words fail to say just how much so. It truly captures the essence of the majestic wonder of Christmas so masterfully.

This weekend I was thinking about the man who wrote it. I was pondering about how he was a real person with struggles, doubts, and joys, just like you and I have in this life. In the midst of them all, what an encounter with God he must have had, for such magnificent verbal artistry to come out of him! To be more specific, we are actually talking about three human artists here (aside from the Divine one who inspired the three 😉). These are the three that He used to bring us this masterpiece:

1) Placide Cappeau, who wrote it as a French poem in 1843
2) Adolphe Adam, who put it to breathtaking music shortly thereafter
3) John Sullivan Dwight, who masterfully translated it into English in 1855

God shows no favoritism. As He encountered those three men of the 19th century, breathing such glorious revelation of His advent into their spirits… so He will encounter you and me today. At Christmastime, God comes near in such a unique, intimate way. Starting immediately, let’s make space this month for the awe of His coming.

As I often tell my son, if we don’t plan for it, it won’t happen. Let’s intentionally plan for spaces of quiet time to allow for these encounters with Him. Even today, let’s look at the calendar for December and make aggressive decisions necessary for creating this space. I am convinced that there is a special anointing on the Christmas season to encounter His love in ways that we haven’t before… if we will carve out the time for it. This Advent, let’s make room to fall on our knees and let the wonder of this Holy Night overcome our souls once again.

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…” (Luke 2:8-9, NKJV).

As I will endeavor to keep these Christmas devos short, I will no doubt need more than one of them to adequately cover a hymn as rich as “O Holy Night.” More on this tomorrow!


Do you have a favorite Christmas carol? If so, what makes it your favorite?



35 thoughts on “Falling on Our Knees

  1. Oh I love the carols and every year or I get a new favorite but I suppose right now I love the modern song Rose of Bethlehem. It has the hauntingly beautiful melody of an old English carol and tells in a unique way the timeless message of Christ. Have a blessed week!

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  2. Joy to the World! We had been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for over 6 months and because of prior health issues I was pretty sure it was never going to happen. Then on a Wednesday night just before Christmas, as we were waiting for our midweek worship service to begin; my husband prayed “God if Barb is pregnant, let the first song be ” Joy to the World”. When the band began to play, tears streamed down both of our faces as we sang….”JOY TO THE WORLD”

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  3. JOY TO THE World is one of my favourites as I learned this week that it was written in the beginning not just to be a CHRISTMAS ie once a year song but a DIVINE PROCLAMATION of WHO CHRIST really is. THE great I AM of history come as a baby destined to be SAVIOUR of all human spirits/souls. Indeed may we sing JOY TO THE WORLD. Eternal JOY is for all but only in HIM,

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  4. As a matter of fact, “O Holy Night” IS my favorite. As a French teacher, I used to sing it in French. Believe it or not, it has lost a little in the translation. The French calls Jesus the “God-Man,” says the whole world trembles with hope, and tells us to fall on our knees and await our deliverance. The second verse is a rebuke to the proud: “The King of Kings was born in a humble manger, you powerful of the day, so proud of your grandeur! It is from there (the manger) that God is preaching to your arrogance. Bow your faces before the Redeemer!” The last verse says “it was for us that He was born, that He suffered and died …” I’m getting chills just writing this. A French exchange student lived with us one Christmas, and she said it was a tradition to sing this at midnight Christmas Eve. But France is such a secular nation, as is so much of Europe. One of my prayers is that God would pour out His Spirit on Europe, and that in my lifetime we would see the beautiful cathedrals of Europe filled to overflowing with true believers who adore Jesus. I’m 67, so it’ll have to happen soon. 😉

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    1. Wow! I felt that in my bones too! I had a bit of an idea from Wikipedia (lol) about how different the original French was, but you gave me a much more thorough idea, and I am the richer for it. Thank you so much, Annie. And I join you in that prayer and hope for Europe! ❤ 🙂

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  5. I love that carol too, and I think I love most all of in different ways… I’m the one who gets out the CDs and says “This is my favourite… no, this is my favourite…” I’ve loved reading all the wisdom and beautiful stories in everyone’s comments too!

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