December 22, 2010

Dec. 22: Unite in praise, with all creation

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By Annika Miller, a sophomore elementary education major from Scottdale, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 148 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:

Praise the LORD. Psalm 148 calls us to join together in praising God. No matter who we are or where we’re from, we are called to come together. In the Christmas season especially, we need to remember to put aside our differences and celebrate the love God freely gives that unites us.

The psalm reminds us that God made everything and all of creation is called to praise God – from the angels in heaven to each individual piece of sand. Yet, it was for us that God “raised up a horn.” God sent God’s only son to earth for us because God so desperately wants to have a relationship with us. It’s through this relationship that – of all creation – we are held closest to God’s heart.

One of my favorite images of God is of God as a parent who embraces me, holds me close and completely surrounds me. This is one way I choose to visualize joining in and embracing a relationship with God. However you visualize it, it’s in choosing to engage in this relationship that we can truly praise God. We don’t do this quietly by ourselves, but loudly with all of creation.

This is an amazing gift of love God has given us, and during the Christmas season we need to remember to give it back to others. So, join creation in praising the LORD out loud. Celebrate God’s love for you. Share the gift with others.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 148 (NRSV)

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!

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Comments (8)

  1. Just a note to say “Thank You” for this Advent Devotional series and the Lenten series which will follow. My spirit is enriched by each of these devotional writings and I continually think what a fine institution Goshen College must be to have the staff, faculty and student body that can express praise as today’s writer has done. May God’s gracious Spirit continue to shine upon and bless your institution.

    Leland C. Eyres, Plymouth, MN eyresmn@gmail.com

    Leland Eyres December 22, 2010 |
  2. Once again, thank-you for this wonderful sharing of inspiration from your faith community. It is especially inspiring to read the thoughts of young people. During both Lent and Advent, I look forward to this daily gift!

    Sharron Mies December 22, 2010 |
  3. I look forward every day to the GC devotions, when I can pause and reflect a little on life’s true values that are important, Today is unusually meaningful to me. Thanks.

    Flo Rheinheimer Harnish December 22, 2010 |
  4. Thanks Annika, just what I needed, going to use this for staff meeting tomorrow. Really enjoy the GC devotions.

    Joy Cotchen December 22, 2010 |
  5. Your thoughtful and diverse devotions are helpful for the Advent season. I appreciate how your writers use their practical experience in their sprirtual reflection.

    Bill Pounds December 22, 2010 |
  6. I love to praise the Lord! An added thought. In Christ we are all called to love one another. In that I wonder if we were examine the alleged “Differences” under the watchful eye of God, would their origin be from Him? And if not, need they be put aside or simply thrown away?

    sidonie smith December 22, 2010 |
  7. Amen to the thanks others have already expressed. I really appreciated the insight the examples of young adult spirituality that they provide. These Advent and Lenten devotions by college students,faculty and staff, are one of the remaining precious connectors across the Canada/US border. For those of you with younger families, perhaps my down-loadable At-Home booklets can be received as a grateful exchange. http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1418.

    Elsie Rempel December 22, 2010 |
  8. That psalm is just one of the very best. Simply reading the words brings joy, every time. Thank you for reminding me of it on this 22nd day of Advent, morning after the winter solstice, a time of reflection and a time when awareness of God is running high everywhere. Thank you, thank you.

    Laura Lloyd December 23, 2010 |