Holy Night

It was a dark, dark night, but a Light pierced through that darkness. Those who walked in darkness saw that great Light. The Light was Jesus. He still shines today in the darkest places, on the darkest nights of our life. If we look, we will see His Light. It will be a “lamp unto our feet” giving direction; and it will be a “light on our path” pointing the way so we won’t get lost in the mundane and trivial matters that take us hostage. Perhaps all dark places in our life are really Holy Nights—places where Jesus can burst through and shine. In fact, it seems that God works the night shift.

Think about it. God created the earth at night: Darkness was upon the face of the deep. God’s people were delivered from Egyptian bondage at midnight. He parted the Red Sea and dried up the land for them to cross over by having the east wind blow strongly all night. He sent them manna from heaven by night so they could gather it first thing in the morning. In a night vision, the Apostle Paul received a call from God to go to Macedonia. During the night, Jesus walked to the disciples on the sea in the midst of a storm. Jesus was born while shepherds watched over their flocks by night.. Even the resurrection of Jesus took place on the night shift. We know because we’re told that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark and saw the stone had been rolled away. God’s work by night continues to cause great light to come into the lives of people everywhere

When the season of advent approaches—the time when we remember the coming of Jesus into the world—the lighting of candles is symbolic of what happened when darkness was upon the face of the deep…and God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that is was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. It reminds us that God who commanded the Light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Light in the Night

As we light candles during the advent season, as well as any other time of the year, let us remember the Word of the Lord that came through Zacharias telling us, The dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to them who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Peter reminds us that we have been called out of darkness into light. The expression “called out” implies separation from darkness thus being made holy.

What is Holy?

The Hebrew word for holy, qodesh {ko’-desh} means “separateness, holiness of God, of places, of things. In the Old Testament we have many references to “holy things”—set apart for use in worship. In the New Testament, we who have been overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and allowed Jesus to be born in our heart are made holy for worship—set apart for His use.

When the angel appeared to Virgin Mary with the announcement that the Holy Ghost would overshadow her and she would become pregnant with the Son of God, she answered, “May it be to me according to your word.” The ground of her heart was holy—full of the Light of God. She was devoted to loving and serving the one true God. Obedience with joy was the result.

Only You are Holy, Lord

Years ago when our music leader first introduced the song, “Only You are Holy, Lord,” I asked that we not sing it again. I recalled the Scripture where the Lord says, Be holy as I am holy, and We are a royal priesthood, a holy nation… I could not reconcile the scriptures with “Only You are Holy, Lord” when obviously the scripture says that we, His people, are also to be holy. However, when I did a study of the word Holy and traced it through scripture, I found in the song of the Lamb where (Jesus) says to God …for You alone are Holy. The Greek word translated holy in this passage means purity from defilement. Truly there is only One who was, is, and always will be pure from defilement. Those of us who have been cleansed by blood of  Jesus Christ are made clean by His Word. Thus being set apart, we are holy. How wonderful that we can be the children of a perfect Father, and allow Him to pour into us His attributes!

Yes, it’s true. When we yield our hands, feet, and voice as members of righteousness, they are holy. Why? Because they are totally devoted to, set aside for, the service and worship of our Holy God. Where we live and through whatever situations we must endure, the ground beneath us is Holy Ground. If we treat it as such, our outlook will be less sinister and negative, and more positive and grateful. The Lord promised to be with us ALWAYS. He is with us on the job, at school, at home, and in the marketplace. He doesn’t get out of the boat in a storm. He doesn’t run in and hide when there’s a hurricane or tornado. He doesn’t leave us in times of trauma and disaster. He goes with through them with us—sometimes taking us right on into His home!

Holy ground for Moses was in the fire. Holy ground for Joshua was in the battle. Holy ground for Mary was in a heart, mind, soul, and body willing to give birth to Jesus. Where is our holy ground? Wherever it is, we need to listen carefully. God is speaking to us—making the nights of our life into holy habitations for Him.


(c) East of Bethlehem, C. Yvonne Karl, Brentwood Press, 2003. Chapter 7.

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