This is the fifth part in a twelve part devotional commentary on “O Holy Night.” See the introduction here.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
The “light of faith serenely beaming” likely refers to the star over Bethlehem that led the magi to Jesus. In Matthews account we are told that “when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (2:10) Just the journey to Jesus was cause for joy, and it culminated in standing by His cradle with glowing hearts. More than simply rejoicing, at the sight of Jesus the wise men “fell down and worshiped him.” (2:11)
We understand these things “by the light of faith.” Hebrews 11 tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith helps us see with something other than our eyes. We are told that “by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God.” (11:3)
What follows in Hebrews is a list of people who did things “by faith” that would not have done without it. They acted on their ability to see reality in a light different from fallen man. “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” (11:13)
We are further told to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” (12:1-2) Jesus is fundamental to the light that faith provides us. Without His blood cleansing us of our sinful guilt, we would still be living in darkness. But since He has redeemed us and since He is the light of God, we now have eyes that can see and ears that can hear.
For this reason, we too should come with glowing hearts beside His cradle. “Draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,” and come, let us adore Him.
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