We have waited long;
Waited in Hope,

We celebrate Light,
God’s arrival,
the Nativity.

And still we pray:
Come, Jesus, Come!

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Sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord! Bless his name! Share the news of his saving work every single day! Declare God’s glory among the nations; declare his wondrous works among all people because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise. He is awesome beyond all other gods because all the gods of the nations are just idols, but it is the Lord who created heaven! Greatness and grandeur are in front of him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Psalm 96:1-6

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The Christmas season can be very busy and stressful. Psalm 96 reminds us during this season that so many things ("gods" and "idols") can compete for our attention and our allegiance.

It’s different for everyone... What are the gods and idols in your life that compete with the God who is “awesome beyond all other gods” for your time and your heart?

Is anticipating and celebrating the birth of Jesus at the center for you this week? How do we make sure we keep our priorities straight?

The Psalm tells us: Sing a new song to God, give praise to God, declare to others who God is! You can start by naming a few things for which you are grateful. You will find that the things you name point you to God. They connect you with the Giver. So go ahead, take some time, and sing a song to God. You can sing the doxology or a hymn or a song you like, or maybe make one up. Just sing!

David Loleng

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Almighty God, help me to keep my focus and priority centered on you today. I thank you for all the ways in which you have been active in my life and in the world around me. Remind me everyday to sing praises to you. Amen.

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“Could it be true, this Bethlehem story of a Creator descending to be born on one small planet? If so, it is a story like no other. Never again need we wonder whether what happens on this dirty little tennis ball of a planet matters to the rest of the universe. Little wonder a choir of angels broke out in spontaneous song, disturbing not only a few shepherds but the entire universe.”

Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, 2002

Jesus’ coming has changed everything. Because of Jesus we are transformed. As changed people we are called to join with Jesus Christ in the transformation of lives, families, communities, and the world.

Go now into your world; go in Christ Jesus!

David Loleng

Rev. David Loleng is the National Associate for Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Presbyterian Mission Agency. He has more than 20 years of ministry experience in Presbyterian churches in California. He is married and has two young children. His hobbies include book collecting and taking long walks… to the refrigerator.

Advent: Wexford Carol

Mark Hayes

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