Oh Holy Night was originally written in French as a poem, but translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight in 1855, only a few short years before the American Civil War. It’s one of the most difficult carol’s to sing. I loved listening to my sister belt out the tune every Christmas, only making it through singing the verses myself.
My favorite verse is this 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.
How powerful would it have been for people to sing during the time of legalized American slavery that the slave is our brother and how powerful is it today to sing that the slave is still our brother and because of Christ, in his name, we need to break the bonds of slavery and any oppression. Even though slavery is outlawed in all countries, some estimates show as many as 12 to 29. million people are enslaved today. Even in the U.S., due to human trafficking, up to 1.5-1.8 million people are enslaved in the U.S. alone. There are many organizations both in the U.S. and abroad that combat slavery. One of my favorites is Exodus Road . Consider giving this year to an organization that combats human trafficking or buy cute pajamas for your mother, sisters, daughters, friends and yourself at International Princess Project. They employ women in India who have escaped brothels and who have no way to survive economically due to social stigma. The women are taught a new trade that they can use to support themselves. Remember, that slaves are our brothers and sisters and we have the responsibility to show love by ending oppression of any kind.