Sin & Error Pining

I’ve heard and sung “O Holy Night” literally hundreds of times.  But there are two lines that have stopped me in my tracks lately:

Long lay the world in sin and e’er pinning

‘Til He appeared, and the soul felt it’s worth!

Wow.  “Pining” has, before now, been almost a funny word to me.  I suppose it strikes me funny because it indicates such raw neediness.  I’ll often joke about “pining” for coffee in the morning… as if I’m just going to curl up and parish if I don’t get a cup of it right NOW.   Or my dogs… “pining” for attention with their pitiful puppy eyes, pawing longingly to be noticed and touched.

But suddenly this powerful line, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining,” paints a serious, tragic picture of our world literally “wallering” in our need.  Until He appeared, that is!  Then we got a glimpse of our worth! When God shows up and smiles on our lives with his infinite kindness, He is SO full of everything we don’t have.  THAT is why we celebrate!  Because He gave us – and continues to give us – worth.  Value!  What more incredible gift could a soul possibly pine for?!

Those two lines from “O Holy Night” are enough for me to chew on for the entire season.  Thank You, Jesus, for letting my soul feel it’s worth when You showed up.  Without You, I’m pining.  And not just for coffee.  Without You, I’m desperately needy. Your coming is everything.  As we approach the celebration of Your birthday, I am more aware than ever just what a big deal You are!

11 thoughts on “Sin & Error Pining

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    1. HA! Okay, that’s a fair comment. Just calling it like I see it… “Long lay the world in sin and error pining…” seems, to me, like wallering as opposed to…say… “Long sat the world…” or “Long stood the world…” or even, “Long survived…” It just layed there pining. 😉


  1. Thanks Emily. Looking around, so much of the world is still pining, wallering and ‘aching’, and they don’t even know what for. Wouldn’t it be great if this Christmas we could help just some people see Jesus appear through us and give their souls true worth for the first time?


  2. Emily,

    I was doing a search for the lyrics of O Holy Night for a blog post and, lo, your blog appeared! How wonderful for me. I’ll be following. 🙂


  3. How cool that I literally just emailed you about singing this exact verse this Christmas! I had no idea you had written this until after I sent the email. God is awesome…

    Liked by 1 person

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