Oh Holy Night ~ by Raymond Walker, www.walkerco.com (Copyright 2012, Raymond Walker, not to be re-published without permission)
The school I attended in New Orleans had a Christmas caroling ceremony the last evening before dismissal for the holidays. The children were on one side of the main campus quadrangle and would sing to the parents on the other side. I was about ten years old. We were singing Oh Holy Night and inexplicably, I was overcome with deep emotion, almost to the point of joyful tears. This really surprised me. It was so powerful I never forgot the experience.
So why the deep impact, other than the beauty of the song? Sadly, I had no understanding of the Gospel of Jesus since I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. But I attribute the overpowering emotion to God’s prevenient grace, where for the first time He “pinged” me as if to say “I’m here, you don’t know me yet. But I know you… and love you… and you’ll be hearing from Me again.” Have I ever!
Over thirty years later my three year-old son was diagnosed with autism, and the company I had recently started was about to go under. Despite being spiritually bankrupt, I dropped to my knees and asked God to intervene in my life and help me solve these seemingly insurmountable problems. In summary, our lives have been transformed completely and God has been amazingly faithful, including healing Ryan. I often wonder, “Did my faith begin the evening I sang Oh Holy Night, without me even knowing it?”
December Peace is a collection of both classic hymns and Stanton’s original music, integrated beautifully to remind us of God’s unfailing love, mercy and grace. God’s exact plan for each of us will always be a mystery, not unlike the emotion I experienced singing Oh Holy Night. But in Him we can all enjoy “December peace,” a peace that passeth all understanding.