Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother (& sister).
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
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 literal translation from the French goes something like this:
The Redeemer has broken every bond: The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave, Love unites those that iron had chained.
Pretty powerful isn't it? 'Love unites those that iron had chained' - what beautiful imagery invoked by these words, and likely even more beautiful when spoken in French! The English version was done by an American abolitionist and music critic, John Sullivan Dwight, 10 years later who was especially drawn to the the third verse in his work against slavery in the South. 'Oh Holy Night' - a song of the abolitionists!
These same words offer us comfort and a renewed call to action over 150 years later. Our dream is that one day all chains will be broken, and all oppression shall cease - but we also know that it is already happening through communities like you breaking chains one at a time. We believe that those trapped in modern slavery are our sisters and brothers - and communities like you are reaching out to help.
May we be a community of Christmas abolitionists - inspired by the words that we sing every Christmas. Thank you for helping us work towards this end. Wishing you joy, hope and peace this Holiday season.