We are facing a very different Christmas this year. There is much sadness at not being able to meet family and friends as we would like. The community events we would normally attend such as pantomime, carol services, parties are also curtailed. This is one of the reasons I felt we needed to have some community carols this year. A time for people to come to their gates and socially distance some of their favourite Christmas carols. This got me thinking of one of my most favourite – O Holy Night. My thoughts took me back to an event I organised in 2018 when we did a ‘Flash Mob’ in the shopping centre in Llandudno. This was complete with mum and a new baby boy! The centre was packed as it was the week leading up to Christmas. When the singing began people looked a bit confused but soon realised what was happening and took time and joined in. We finished off with O Holy Night with the whole group gathering on their knees before this young mum dressed like Mary carrying her brand new baby boy. This had an amazing effect and gave much opportunity to chat to the shoppers about why we were doing this.
This year we need to know there is hope, there will be a better future. We need to know that someone greater than this virus is in control. Here is the first verse and chorus OF o Holy Night, but please listen to the whole 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;
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
As I listened to the song being sung again I was struck by the words of the first verse and chorus again. It made me reflect on our world today. It’s like we have never heard the glorious story of our Saviour’s birth when see all that is wrong and all that is happening. It’s just madness. The world was/is lost in sin and error pining. Mankind weren’t/aren’t sure what they were about. Then this baby was born. The whole world woke up in a very real way. Our very being realised who we were. We realised how precious we are to God. So precious that he sent his one and only Son and with Him the gift of eternal life.. A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices… Then the chorus…. I must admit I did begin to laugh at the first few words: fall on your knees… When I realised just how much we have been doing these past months across the MA, I thought we will all be on our knees! And that is the issue. Will we be on our knees because we have succumbed to the madness of the world’s idea of life and Christmas or will we be on our knees in worship and praise to the baby Jesus, God’s gift of life?
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah announced the coming of a child who would be so much to so many. Elizabeth realised Mary’s child was to be a great blessing to the nations. Her son announce the coming of the one who would be greater than himself. Let us continue this amazing story in all we do and say this Christmas. Let us reach out to the souls who are lost, struggling to see sense of the crazy, scary world we live in. Let us bring light and love into the darkness. And if we do fall on our knees let it be in praise and worship to our Lord and King—Jesus.