The Songs of Christmas: Day 19

O Holy Night

I sat there with my guitar to play and iPhone to record. Simple and sure. Raw and honest.

Over and over, I ran through the song. Singing these words once more. And once more again. Until they sank in deep and sweet. The lyrics storming their way past sadness and anger and frustration and bitterness and disappointment.

Yes, keep on singing it. Sing it until the healing hope of these words nestle up against the heaping holes of your hurting heart.

The day before, I’d wrestled-in-writing with Psalm 55:2 — “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” I realized “burden” wouldn’t suffice in the singular tense here. This thing was needing to go plural, and I was gonna need more paper! In every area of my life, darkness threatened to snuff out light. But today, these words would fight back. A battle of belief.

And so I sang them once more. And once more again.

As I did, the kids played outside the window. Light shining on California-kissed skin, even here in December. The last version recorded had the kids playing in the background. Voices soft and sweet, but impossible to miss if listened closely. And it felt just right. The pining cry of a world in sin and error right there up against the rejoicing souls of children filled with thrills of hope.

A dear friend sends me an old Leonard Cohen lyric every once in a while. Always when I need it. “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Yes there is. And so I say to you, “May you feel the good warmth of God’s great light upon your sweet skin. Even now. And again. And once more again.”

Today’s story is by Bobby Harrison, who recorded his own version of this favorite song. We’ve attached it below.




Bobby Harrison grew up in and around Fellowship North, but is currently a Master’s student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He’s there with his wife, Amy, and the crazy kids you hear in the background — Abe, Sam, and Simone. Bobby made this recording of “O Holy Night” with a dear friend from school named Maddie Joy, whose beautiful voice always makes his sound a little sweeter.

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