Blessed Savior, in love you came to us as a child.

Enlighten our hearts, that we may more deeply understand the richness of this gift and practice more faithfully your call to give of ourselves in love.

from Daily Prayer for All Seasons

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Let all of these praise the Lord’s name because only God’s name is high over all. Only God’s majesty is over earth and heaven. God raised the strength of his people, the praise of all his faithful ones— that’s the Israelites, the people who are close to him. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148:13-14

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The psalmist invites us to “praise the Lord’s name.” I can’t help but ask, which name? We know God by so many names. The Bible alone offers us so many options for addressing God: Parent, Counselor, King of kings, Lord of lords... It’s likely that this psalm is referring to the name Yahweh, which God revealed to Moses. For many Jews this name was and is considered to be too sacred to be spoken, the thought of knowing and speaking God’s name too holy and intimate to imagine.

It’s striking then that in this season of Christmas we focus on Jesus as Emmanuel, a name which means “God with us.” God is born into the world as a human, enters our reality, experiences life as all humans do, and shows us how to live. God is with us; God knows first-hand what it means to be human. While God is certainly holy and deserving of reverence and respect, God has also come very near to us.

Which name helps you know God? Which name helps you to know that you are one of the people close to God?

Chad Senuta

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Emmanuel, thank you that you are with us both now and forever. Help me to remember that you have drawn very near in Christ and that you remain ever by my side. I praise your name. Amen.

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Though I'm prone to leave Your side / You draw me like the tide

You are constant in my wandering / You are brighter than the dark in me / You are the love that sets me free

You are faithful / You are faithful / You are

from “You are” by David Crowder (2014)

Chad Senuta

Chad Senuta serves as the Associate for Youth and Campus Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and as the Chaplain for Canterbury House at Northwestern University. He is also an Associate Trainer for Peer Ministry. He enjoys good coffee, listening to music on vinyl, and spending time with his family. He lives in Northfield, IL with his wife Lisa and two daughters.

I Wonder as I Wander

Nathan Hanson

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