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O Holy Night

It’s Christmas Eve today and with it, Advent is nearly over.  I feel a sense of satisfaction in my soul, but also a sadness that the season comes to a close and waits again for another 11 months to begin anew.  I love the Advent season…I love what it does to me…I love what it does in me.

Luke 2:1-7 
1  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2  This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3  And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

I’ve been saying those words since I was a little boy growing up in the small town Lutheran church my family went to.  I remember the Christmas eve service where all of us as kids recited our parts in front of a congregation of families.  

No one knew how to pronounce Quirinius, much less where Syria was. 

Why did Joseph “go up” to Jerusalem when Nazareth was to the south? (It all has to do with geography and elevation).

AND, the event…Mary full with child.  Many of us have seen it…a woman at nine months is “full with child”.  And then the event of all eternity.  Immanuel, God is with us.  The birth ends the stranglehold of sin…the weary world can rejoice…and we worship the Savior who has come to our house and changed it all.  

We’re never the same…never will be what we were…it is a Holy Night.

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!

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