“O Holy Night” is my favorite Christmas Carole. Musically it rises and falls beautifully, draws you in, and takes you on a journey. Lyrically it is thoughtful and well written. Theologically, this is why I really love it. This song lays out a great worship theology. “Fall on your knees, hear the angel’s voices.” These lines speak deeply into what worship is. The Greek word for worship is proskynein which translates into bow down, or a kiss toward. We don’t often see worship as this, we normally think worship is singing songs. This is just a part, the word proskynein does not indicate a physical reaction but an action of one’s heart. Your heart and soul are to bow before God in worship, what it be. In addition, hearing the angels is an indication of eternal worship. When we worship today, we are to look back at what God has done, worship Him in the present and for what He is doing and finally, perhaps most importantly, worship God for what He will do and the eternal worship we will enjoy with the angels and Jesus Christ in the New Earth, “forever and ever and ever . . .”
This song is not my normal worship song pick, it isn’t my style, nor is it written more recently. My second point comes from this. Style and era of the song shouldn’t matter, the author of the song shouldn’t matter either. We shouldn’t select songs because they are the most popular Hillsong songs, or Tomlin, or Redman, or Crowder, or Jesus Culture and we can hear them on the radio. We should pick them because they are musically compelling and easy to remember and more importantly because their theological and doctrinal language edifies us and glorifies God!! The song should cause us to proskynein (worship) God, not think “Oh this song is so cool and I love the author.” I am just as guilty as this as anyone, I freely admit that I have bias toward DC*B. My challenge to myself, and other worship leader, pastors and worshipers is to find songs that truly worship God, and don’t just give you the warm fuzzies. Our worship tells the story of God in a way that glorifies Him, make sure we strive to do that as well.