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Glory to God in the highest,” proclaim the angels at Jesus’
birth. Birth is always a miraculous event, a happening that
evokes praise for our Creator and brings forth new life.
The angels’ proclamation echoes an ancient Hebrew call to
praise! In today’s passage, the psalmist exhorts all of creation...
God, we praise your holy work. Help us bend our will in reverence to all creation, express gratitude for the life to which you have given birth, and remain dedicated to faithful stewardship in our life among all life. Amen.
Ecstasy over the Christmas miracle binds these passages together with unrestrained joy over what God has done and over who God is. The God whom these texts celebrate is a God who reigns in strength and whose activity on behalf of humankind is timelessly ancient. As worshipers, we join in rejoicing over the coming of the messenger “who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Isa. 52:7). We also celebrate “the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth . . . with righteousness, and . . . equity” (Ps. 98:9). Then a note of immediacy is struck by the focus on what God has done just now, in these “last days,” in which “he has spoken to us by a Son” (Heb. 1:2). The One who was present at Creation, the eternal Word, “became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14).
• Read Isaiah 52:7-10. Where do you see signs of God’s peace amid the world’s brokenness?
• Read Psalm 98. Where in your life has a new beginning come most startlingly from an ending?
• Read Hebrews 1:1-12. When you next celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion, re ect on how God has brought healing to your life.
• Read Luke 2:22-40. When have you been surprised by an inbreaking of God’s extraordinary love in an ordinary moment?
Respond by posting a prayer.
"Wherever I’m appointed to serve as pastor I plan on encouraging our youth to participate in a Discovery Weekend. Knowing that The Upper Room is a part of building the content, I can trust it as a Wesleyan spiritual formation resource for youth." Learn more about Discovery Weekend here.