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Kelly Kotch’s favorite is “O Holy Night.”

Do you know there is an abolitionist verse in that one?

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!
Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

This carol brings many people to a close relationship with God on Christmas Eve and fosters one of their most intimate brushes with the Lord. It is hard to believe that some condemned the hymn because of what some condemned as its ant American leaning especially in that verse. Add to that that the author of poem was not known as a confessing Christian and that the music was composed by a Jewish man. The hymn was translated into English and brought to America by the John Sullivan Dwight, a Universalist minister and the hymn became a favorite of Christian abolitionists.

No one would argue that this hymn of the church does not bring us to closeness to the Lord. Countless people are swept up in devotion and love by its soaring tune and majestic words at Christmas. It behooves us to remember though, that it was once considered seditious and contrary to our faith. We must always be careful when condemning something.

Pray with me? O night divine! Help us dear Lord to fall on our knees and hear the angel voices! We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.