Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
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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! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! 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 148next >
Throughout Christmastide, as we continue to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child and give thanks that an all-powerful God chose to come among us as one of us, we sing joyful praises to God!
But we humans are not the only ones to praise God. All creation praises God: the sun and moon, the cows and the birds, the trees and the hills, the wind and frost - all in their own way give praise to God.
Just as the star, and the animals, and the people gathered together around the baby Jesus in awe and adoration over 2000 years ago, creation still gathers to praise and adore our God.
Notice the world around you today: the crunch of snow beneath your feet, the vibrant colors of the sunset, the sound of waves on a shore, and wonder, “How is creation giving praise to God today?”
Joann Leenext >
I thank you, God, that I can join in with all creation in singing your praise. Help me to pay better attention to the world around me and to notice you in the simple and ordinary things of life. Amen.next >
Depart now in peace, for your eyes have seen the salvation which God has prepared for all people. Grow in strength and wisdom and bring forth a harvest of righteousness and praise.
May God smile upon you and make you strong and wise.
May Christ Jesus and his humble birth fill you with awe.
And may the Holy Spirit open your eyes to the presence of God’s Messiah.
Adapted from Nathan Nettleton, www.laughingbird.net, ©2002
Joann Haejong Lee is an associate pastor at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Joann grew up much farther south in Houston, Texas, and was nurtured in faith by her Korean immigrant Presbyterian church. Joann and her spouse, Mike, met in eighth grade and live in Saint Paul with their two dogs, Bailey and Logan.
Infant Holy - Away in a Manger