Not my favorite Christmas song.
It's a solo, for one thing, with tempos and soaring notes not meant for congregational singing. What should be sublime descends into the nearly-ridiculous virtually every time. I'll admit to the internal sigh when the number is announced. Great. All these gorgeous carols, and we have to sing the one that inevitably dissolves into discord at least once per verse.
Sorry for the snark. You probably love it. I do, too--when it's a solo and I'm singing along at home, alone.
This year we sang it on Christmas Eve. Or rather, my church family did. I dropped out after a certain line on the second verse because I couldn't see the words through the tears.
O Holy Night was more than a song in that moment. It was a message, straight to my heart.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.
The lines are from an 1843 poem, translated with much paraphrasing--not to say outright re-writing--from the original French into English, and not even authored by a devout man. But these particular concepts are backed up with Biblical truth (Hebrews 4:15 and Phillipians 4:19).
He knows me. He sees me.
Anxiety makes you very self-centered. You might appear to be listening or functioning outwardly but the inward dialog is a totally different story. During that service I was trying to control my breathing, keep a pleasant look on my face, pretend things were normal. You can't help but think people are watching you and wondering what's wrong. Because there's no way you can possibly look normal and have all this turbulence inside, right?
So no, I was not thinking about Christmas, or baby Jesus or grown-up Jesus or anyone else but ME as we sang. And then out of the blue, words leaping from the page, a message just for me.
Even in this moment, I see you.
I know you are weak. I know what the past six months has been like. I know how cruddy you feel, how badly you want to go home. How guilty you feel about everything you can no longer do. How afraid you are that this will never end. I know it all.
Behold your King!
Before Him lowly bend!
My focus this year is going to be beholding the King. Bringing my thoughts, ambitions, desires and plans into obedience as I study His character and more fully realize His matchless authority and absolute worthiness to be praised.