Chains shall he break
I have always loved the Christmas song 'Oh Holy Night'. The creeping melody, the slow, building music has always deeply moved me. Up until several years I never paid attention to the third verse - once I did, the song resonated even more. There is a sense of action, better things to come, that is of course a huge part of the Christmas story for followers of Jesus. My favorite line is this:
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother (& sister).
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Last year I wrote to Oasis friends about the history of this song, and it's abolitionist roots:
The words to 'Oh Holy Night' were written by a French poet in 1847 as he meditated on the Christmas story in the book of Luke in the Bible. He decided it should be put to music, and asked a friend to help make this happen. The English version (slightly different from the literal French translation) was done by an American abolitionist 10 years later who was especially drawn to the the third verse in his work against slavery in the South.
It makes sense that this song resonates so well with our work against trafficking, and giving freedom to those who are enslaved. Today I was watching an insprining short film put out by the fine folks at Nest Foundation about a sex trafficking survivor in the U.S. - you should definitely watch it here
. There is a part at the end where the survivor's father says 'God has been so good to you'. It reminded me again of this song and God's quest for things to be made right and just, which is why we believe Jesus was sent to earth - and why we celebrate Christmas.
Chains have been broken this year through Oasis.
We have stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who were slaves.
And we have worked really hard at preventing chains from being put on in the first place.
Oh Holy Night...