Pause

Softly now. Softly. Walk with care; handle the stuff of life with gentle hands.

Settle slowly into your chair and seek the stillness. The child has come and your heart is warmed now that you see him.

Softly now. Softly he comes. Handle the stuff of eternity with the gentlest of hands.

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Listen

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!...

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148:1-4,11-14

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Think

In the spirit of the psalmist’s words, the Westminster Shorter Catechism (a statement of beliefs written by Christians who lived centuries ago) says that humanity’s chief end or purpose is to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.” We seek to fulfill our purpose by gathering for worship to give praise and thanks to God for all the Creator has done in our lives.

The greatest thing God did, of course, was becoming human and dwelling among us as Christ Jesus, who frees humanity to be more loving and merciful toward one another. Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, we join with family, friends, and even strangers to worship God who continues to choose us, despite our failures, as agents of love and mercy in the world.

God arrives. God loves. God frees. God abides. God calls. Are you ready to follow?

Andy Acton

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Pray

Almighty God of all creation, worthy is your name and your presence in my life. Continue to use me to embody your ways of love and mercy in the world. Amen.

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Go

Eternity has whispered your name
And so you have waited,
Waited with great anticipation
While preparing yourself for the coming of God's great gift.

Now the gift is here.
Waiting is over.
The anticipated arrival has come to pass
And your preparation is accomplished.

Go now in the blessed peace of Immanuel. God is with us!

Andy Acton

Andy Acton is the associate pastor for youth and mission and outreach at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, Georgia. Andy lives with his wife Elizabeth, their 5-year-old daughter Katie, their newborn son Davis, his mother-in-law, two Labradors, and a cat.

Rejoice

Jim Morgan

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