I had tears running down my cheeks tonight. I wanted to stand, to raise my hands in praise, but it was a little weird: I was surrounded by thousands, sitting in a large theatre in Austin, listening to a raucous rendition of O Holy Night, played by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The music was pounding, accompanied by TSO’s trademark fire and light show.
Not the typically reverent situation in which to find myself in the throne room of God, and yet his Spirit gripped me and I was overcome.
“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining….” Oh, yes, Lord. I once was lost.
“‘Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” And now I’m found.
My soul feels its worth every single day, simply because you appeared. Had you not come, I would never have experienced real love. I wouldn’t understand the meaning of grace. I couldn’t feel genuine compassion, nor could I long for true justice. Because you appeared, my soul feels its worth, and I transcend the ugliness of a world that often turns my stomach and brings me to tears.
Because my soul feels its worth, I am a new creature…a transcendent creature. I am alive, and I yearn to be better in every dimension. Because I feel my worth, I long to transcend my petty concerns, my first-world problems, my lack of authenticity. My soul feels its worth, and that feeling–deeper than anything I can experience in the earthly realm–goads me to goodness, to seeing the worth in every other soul.
Because my soul feels its worth, I must transcend the vile self-talk that mocks my value and opposes your word. I must reject any thinking, speaking, or acting that denigrates the worth of another human soul.
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices….” I am so weary when I am apart from your will, Father. Yet when I remember that you appeared, I feel that thrill of hope, and weariness is banished.
“…for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” Thank God for that morning of hope.
“Fall on your knees….”
Oh, Father. Let this blessed season find me on my knees, pleading for your will in my life, in my family, and in my country. Let me remember to acknowledge the worth of every soul–to see through your holy eyes, to sincerely and profoundly recognize the transcendent blessing of Christmas.
I got my first Christmas present a bit early. Truly, a night divine.