Wednesday, December 24, 2014

O Holy Night

O holy night,

The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior's birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

These are the words from a hymn many of you probably love as I do. As I work on this blog and think of many of you who have suffered abuse the words hit me with new meaning. They speak to the truth that many of us lay in sin and its consequences for a very long time. We suffered, we hurt and we struggled to find our way after the sin of our abuser was perpetrated on us. These words say that we suffered “til He appeared and the soul felt its worth” The He in these verses is Christ.

Many of us not only didn’t feel our worth but believed we were nothing, as our abusers actions and words told us. We despised ourselves in the process. So unfair, but for many of us, so true. But the words of this Christmas song speak the truth of my life. When Christ appeared in my life I felt the faintest whisper of a worth I hadn’t felt before. And there was a thrill of hope feeling those little blooms of worth in my heart.

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!

Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!

His power and glory evermore proclaim!

His power and glory evermore proclaim!

The last verse of this song is an amazing picture of what happened to me as Christ began to truly heal me. Truly He taught me to love others. It happened! I was finally able to love and not just fear and tremble. I was able to get outside of my own shame and wretchedness and give worth to others as Christ gave me worth.

I love the line that says “Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother and in His Name all oppression shall cease.” Oh, how true that is in more ways than we can even imagine. Christ came to set people free! Of the oppression of sin, of injustice, of abuse and so much more. And even to set us free from the pain of our past and the pain of our view of ourselves that had no worth. He comes to set up free!

I have no idea where you are in your pain this Christmas or where you are in knowing how much Jesus Christ’s “law” truly is love. But, it is! And that love is available to you this day! You can come to Him with the smallest amount of faith and just lay it at His feet. And receive the gift He gives to you. He takes your sin and sorrow and shame and hurt, and replaces it with His goodness, His forgiveness, His kindness, and His freedom. All for you. Just because He loves you. You pay nothing, and He pays it all. You just accept the beautiful gift of eternal life.

Do you have that tiny bit of faith this Christmas morning to receive the great gift of his love? I hope so. And if this gift seems scary and almost too big to accept, then write me, and let me walk you through it. It is a gift as powerful and as sweet as a drink of cool water on a hot day. Or the key that fits in the lock of whatever shackles you right now in this life. Let Him take those shackles on himself and set you free!

Merry CHRISTmas!

Love to you all….

Mark Phelps


  1. Mar, a friend introduced me to your blog. I've read quite a bit now, and it's time for me to say hello and encourage you to keep on writing.

    I am a therapist in a Christian counseling office. I hear stories of emotional, verbal mental, spiritual and physical abuse every day that I work. I am always appalled at the depths to which Satan is able to carry even those who claim to be believers. Much evil has been perpetrated through the centuries in His Name. My heart is touched by what you are saying here. I want to encourage you to keep writing.

    I am praying that you will be protected from the attacks that I know must come your way as you follow God's leading.

    1. Linda, thank you very much for your encouragement. You have encouraged me to keep writing and I am about to begin writing about the healing the Lord has done in my life. Thank you, also, for praying for me Linda! Your note means a lot to me.