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O Holy Night

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.1


We’ve heard this beautiful song and have been moved by its soaring music, particularly when sung by extraordinary vocals such as Andrea Bocelli or Celine Dion. The song reflects on the night of Jesus’ birth, as found in Luke 2.


In 1847, poet Placid Cappeau was asked to compose a poem for a Christmas service. He admitted that he didn't attend church very often, nevertheless, he said yes to the request. While on a coach ride in France, Cappeau read the Gospel of Luke for inspiration. He imagined what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph the night Jesus was born. His thoughts became his poem, “Cantique de Noel.”


Realizing that God had inspired his words, Cappeau asked Adolphe Charles Adams, a Jewish friend, to compose music for his words. Adams was a famous composer who didn't celebrate Christmas due to his Jewish Heritage. Consequently, he didn't believe the subject of the poem was actually about God's Holy Son. Yet, Adams agreed to compose the music.


Very few people realize that “O Holy Night” was written and composed by two men who knew very little about Jesus. The song was later banned by the church in France when Cappeau walked away from his faith. Nevertheless, the story behind this song reminds us that God can, and will, use anyone to get His message to the world.


This Christmas, let the Lord use you to share His story with others — at home, in the workplace, or wherever the opportunity may arise. This weary world needs to hear about Jesus more than ever!


O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of our 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 divine, O night, O night divine.2


Suggested Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, your Christmas Message needs to be heard, and this Christmas I ask that you use me to tell others of your miraculous birth and the reason that you came to us on that most Holy night! Thank you for using unlikely people as vessels for your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

1.    Luke 2:20 (ESV).

2.    “O Holy Night” (“Cantique de Noel”) by Placide Cappeau, Music by Adolphe Charles Adams 1847.


Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.






All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.