By David Kowalski (Written in December of 2012)
I have heard my share of Christmas carols sung but one occasion stands out above the others. Many years ago, I was doing student teaching at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri. Just before the Christmas break, the school assembled to hear their most gifted students sing seasonal music.
The school’s most talented vocalist was a devoted Christian girl who had just lost her father due to a helicopter accident. Many people questioned if she would still sing at the event, but in spite of her grief she stepped to the microphone and powerfully delivered the most beautiful version I have ever heard of “O Holy Night.” Against the dark backdrop of this girl’s personal circumstances, the words stood out brilliantly, taking on more emotional meaning from the purity of her praise:
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’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;
The song ended with the following words:
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!— Advertisement —
When she finished, students and teachers alike were wiping tears from their eyes. The song clearly came from the student’s heart and she was not offering a shallow “I’m so glad I got what I want” “praise.” This praise was directed to the One who deserved it. It was pure in its selfless adoration of and devotion to the Savior. As I stood there wiping away my own tears, it dawned on me that this girl showed greater Christian maturity than most adult believers I had known, and I shared in her appreciation of the One who is great and good regardless of my circumstances.
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