Ella Quayle
Advent - Part 4 | 'O Holy Night'

"And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” - Isaiah 6:3

I find there is nothing quite like listening to a good old-fashioned Christmas Hymn around the holiday season. And for this last part of the Avent 2021 series, I want to look at one of the most classic hymns: 'O Holy Night'. One of the articles I was reading about 'O Holy Night' described it well: "It brings up such great memories and thoughts of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. It was truly a glorious night when Jesus was born. The angels rejoiced and the whole world received their King. God granted us eternal salvation when He sent His Son to die for our sins." (Link to article - 

christmas ball with music
Whenever I think about who God is my mind usually wanders off to think of his power, faithfulness, kindness, mercy, and grace. For some reason, I rarely ever dwell on God's holiness. I don't know if that's because I don't hear it talked about much, but the more I think about it the more I understand the significance of it. And that is why for this last blog on the 2021 Advent series, I want to have a look at God's holiness and what that means for us in the song 'O Holy Night’. 

Maverick City Version:

Hillsong Worship Version:

Mariah Carey Version:

This song was written in French by poet and author Placide Cappeau in 1843. Despite Placide Cappeau having no particular interest in religion, the local parish priest commissioned Cappeau to write a Christmas poem. Which was then composed by Adolphe Adam (a French composer and music critic). And in 1855 John Sullivan Dwight translated this piece of music from French to English. 

In the well-known lines of verse one: " Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born", it contains so much theology on Christ's supremacy. "So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11). God is so high and great, that at times all we can do is fall to our knees in awe and fear of him. 2 Peter 1:3-4: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” In these verses, we are shown God's holiness and divinity.

Video on Holiness - Helpful for all ages:

Many other scriptures in the Bible (Psalm 96:9, Nehemiah 9:6) talk about bowing/kneeling before God, in submission but mainly bowing because of his holiness, greatness and glory. In Isaiah 6, it talks about Isaiah having a vision of being in the presence of God in a temple, with seraphim calling out the holiness of God " Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven's armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" As I read this passage, it describes the seraphim's as "mighty...having six wings. With two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew". To me, that sounds utterly terrifying, yet even they are covering themselves so much because of the holiness of God, which I think gives a little glimpse of how great He is. "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven's armies". Sometimes I think as Christians we can forget how extraordinary, holy, and glorious God is. As humans we only have a limited amount of understanding and knowledge of God, and who He is, is so unfathomable we can't imagine or comprehend. The fact that even the petrifying angels were coving their entire bodies goes to show how mighty and glorious God is. 

We can see the effect of God's greatness on us in verse 1: " Till He appeared and the soul felt it's worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn". The Righteous King came down and traded His throne for a stable and brought such hope and freedom to us. As it is shown in the rest of the verses: "Born to be our friend! He knows our need...His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains shall He break... And in His name, all oppression shall cease". This divine King came to set captives free, guide us, restore the relationship between God and man, be the atonement, and countless more other things. 

Philippians 2:1-11, says, "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. This passage shows the authority, holiness, and supremacy of Jesus. Just knowing how great God is, helps me keep in perspective how small all my problems are and to fear God Biblically. Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him. - Psalm 33:8
What it means to fear the Lord is summarised well in this article

"When the Bible refers to the “fear of the Lord,” it means having a deep respect, reverence and awe for God’s power and authority. Rather than causing someone to be afraid of God, a proper “fear of the Lord” leads one to love Him."
The more I dwell on God's divinity and holiness the more I Fear the Lord, which makes me so much more in awe of who He is and makes me loves God even more!

So for this last week on the Advent series, I would encourage you to take a moment to dwell on the scriptures given and ask God to reveal more things and deepen your understanding of God and His divine, holy nature. I think this part of His nature is fundamental to being in awe of God and fearing Him and will benefit our relationship and view of God.  

Feel free to use your creativity (whatever that may look like) to express what you feel God speaks to you on as you look at the song 'O Holy Night'. 

I've had such a fun time writing this Advent series, and I hope it has blessed and encouraged you this festive season. I wish you all a lovely Christmas this year! 

happy woman