Last Friday at the Senior School Christmas Service the choir sang ‘O Holy Night’ and did so superbly. It is a beautiful carol that was written by a French poet after a request from his parish priest. It is the first ever song sent through the air via radio waves, and during the next three weeks it will be heard by millions all around the world.
I find each line in this carol inspiring, but I will mention the third verse in particular:
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
As 2016 draws to a close, too many people live under oppression and fear, too many people have either witnessed or been victims of violence, and too many national leaders are motivated to maintain power by whatever means it takes. How incongruous it seems that the life of a baby born in a small town 2000 years ago should be the answer to the ills of our weary world. Yet this is the claim of Christianity. For Jesus did teach us to love one another, to seek peace because He gives peace, breaks the chains of oppression, and fills hearts with joyful praise.
I trust that you, your families and loved ones have a lovely Christmas season and that the beauty and wonder of that ‘Holy Night’ in a stable in Bethlehem all those years ago would cause you to reflect upon ‘the thrill of hope that causes a weary soul to rejoice’.
Senior School Chaplain