Christmas Is Natural

During the season of Advent, I have been using Luther Seminary’s God Pause devotional. This morning Dr. Fred Gaiser reflected on Psalm 98, a favorite of mine, to help us see how the whole creation participates in Christmas.

O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm have gained him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
He has remembered his steadfast love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

Dr. Gaiser wrote,

Advent means coming. God is coming to judge the earth, sings the psalmist. But will we survive this? Will we like it? The creation seems to—the floods clap, the sea roars and the hills sing because they know something we might not: that God’s judgment is always just, that this Judge is always good. But we humans are not as innocent as the creation.

Can we sing as quickly as the creatures? There is evil around us and within us that needs to be cleansed, removed, cut out. God knows this to be true—so do the hills and so do we. But even as we fear God’s coming, we look forward to it because it will make us new. Come, God. Come, Lord Jesus. Make all things new—me too.

All I can write is AMEN!  As the Christmas carol Joy to the World declares, “Let heaven and nature sing!”

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Make your world shine as on the day of creation’s dawn. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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