Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing.

Isaac Watts

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And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Luke 2:52

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Growing up is hard to do. Jesus also grew up. He went from that baby in a manger to a man with a purpose and mission the same way we all do as humans - learning to walk, forming sentences, scraping his knees, going to school. But as Jesus increased in years, he also increased in wisdom, and both God and humans were pleased with him.

We, too, are called to continue to increase in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. We do so by observing the world and noticing its beauty, by learning to listen and appreciating the wisdom of others, by growing from our mistakes and embracing challenges, and by serving one another and recognizing that God loves each and every human being. You never finish growing up; it is a life-long process. God promises to help you as you continue to grow.

Joann Lee

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Thank you, God, for your son Jesus the Christ, who knows how hard growing up can sometimes be. Help me to grow not only in size and years but also in wisdom, love, and compassion. Amen.

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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,, ©2002

Joann Lee

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

David Burroughs

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