The Atlantic has been posting an intriguing series of articles called The Twelve Days of Christmas Songs. We’re glad to see several of these pieces speak to the importance of the strong Christian theology coursing through their lyrics. Emma Green, for her part, hones in on “O Holy Night,” exploring the song’s ultimate focus:

These are the knees of ‘O Holy Night’: wonderstruck, joyous, and yes, a little wobbly. Fall on your knees, the song commands. Jesus has been born, and even the angels are singing. A thrill of hope; the weary soul rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. This is no normal night. It’s a time to brace, to get close to the ground. Oh, night divine.

It’s a powerful reminder. If you’re a Christian, perhaps you’ve grown all too familiar with the call to remember “the reason for the season.” In reality, this season could be what we make it. It could be the time of gift giving, hot chocolate drinking, high spirits, reflection on a year’s end, and all the other things we’ve come to associate with this time of year. And that’s all good!

But Christmas could also be a rich time of corporate worship and deep reflection on the nativity story. We could take this time to worship our God together and wonder at His amazing grace. God became flesh and dwelt among us. Our King and Redeemer entered into space and time that holy night – such a momentous appearance into such a humble, unexpected context. Who can wrap their mind around it? Green puts it well: if we really think about it, it should hit us like “a divine gut punch.” Fall on your knees!

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