O Holy Night

Music HighwayCan nighttime ever be holy? Can surrounding space that is dark become holy? I can picture an atheist asking these questions about the title and theme of the classic Christmas carol, O Holy Night.

I can understand what non-believers may say about holiness. I am sure, if they do their homework, they will find that the words, “holy night,” do not appear together anywhere in the Bible. Unless I discover them in a lesser known Bible translation, I doubt finding these two words together, either. I also could not find evening by itself being called holy.

Does this mean that night is evil? According to Genesis 1:14, 16-18.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night … God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

Evening was created good. But can it be holy?

“Holy” means “set apart.” Also, something that is holy has God’s presence in it. God’s presence can be in the ground, in an immediate land surface.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)

God, after creating the seventh day, made the it holy:

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3)

This seventh day consisted of (depending on the season) approximately twelve hours of night and twelve hours of day. So the nighttime portion of the seventh day, referring to this verse, was also holy. Note: The day in Biblical times was from sunset to sunset not midnight to midnight. Therefore evening came first then the day. In Genesis there was darkness before there was light.

So what is my point? Am I trying to add words to the Bible or alter it in any way? No, of course not. But my question to you is is this: If God made the 7th day holy before the chosen children of Israel were chosen, then why are not many Christian keeping that day holy today?

Did not Jesus say that “the Sabbath was made for man“…(Mark 2:27)? Am I wrong to say that Jesus also said that man was created not for the Sabbath? In other words, man was not to keep the Sabbath day holy when God first made it holy in Genesis. Only Israel was later commanded to keep it holy, am I right? Why didn’t God command all peoples everywhere to keep it holy when He first made it holy? The Bible does not say He did. Am I making any sense to you here? I am open minded to any objections.

Anyway, what I now want to say is that the song, O Holy Night, (which happens to be my favorite Christmas song) is a poem put to music. There is much symbolism and meaning within it, but it is not Scripture. But consider that:

image* there certainly was no night in history like the one when Jesus was born.

* God’s presence, Jesus Christ, was in that moment, that very night.

* celestial beings were heard praising God on that night. That had never happened among men before.

* Jesus Christ, that night, was (and still is) the Light of the world – then and now.

Night should not be confused with the Bible’s use of the word, darkness. The world is in total darkness because of the evil doings of its inhabitants. Therefore, darkness, mentioned in the Bible, mostly represents (symbolizes) evil.

That being said, let us Christians rejoice over the meaning of this song, O Holy Night. The Light, Jesus Christ, came to reside among men. And because of Him, the sin of the world had been dealt a serious blow. Men, upon believing in Him, can now be considered (justified) by God as holy, sanctified, saints.

Homework Questions:
1) Can Christians “be holy” and “becoming holy” at the same time?
2) If so, give some Bible verses for each.

Here now is, O Holy Night:


Adolph’s Adam (1803-1856)

O Holy Night (1847)
lyrics – Placide Cappeau
music – Adolphe Charles Adam
sung by – John Ludy Puleo
genre – Christmas Hymn, Christmas Carol

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 soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!


Placido Cappeau (1808 -1877)


Movie (2006)


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