This is the fourth part in a twelve part devotional commentary on “O Holy Night.” See the introduction here.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine
There are two pictures of heavenly worship in the Bible that have always made a deep impression on me. In Isaiah 6 the seraphim around God’s throne call out “”Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” In Revelation 4 the “living creatures” never cease to say “”Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” They are followed by twenty four elders who say “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
At the beginning of Revelation (1:17) John worships the correct person, Jesus the Messiah (he later bows down before angels and is sternly corrected in 19:10 and 22:8). And this should also be our response to the coming of our Lord and savior into the world. He who came as a lamb to the slaughter was none other that the Lord of all creation, the very Word of God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
We sing “O night divine” because our transcendent God is also immanent. Our God does not look at us from afar, wondering about us or worrying about our sinful state. He stepped into our world to bring peace and adopt us as His very own. The divine broke into the earthly realm, but the lower state did not diminish His divinity.
“Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 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.” (Phil 2:5-11)
Indeed, a day is coming when every knee will bow as it should, if it has not already. Until that day, we add our voices to the heavenly choir in praise to Him who was born on that night divine.