First Sunday of Christmas
We end the Advent Devotional with a Psalm that calls all Creation to Praise God. Here is a list of the ones that are called to praise God: 1) the heavens, 2) angels, 3) sun and moon, 4) shining stars, 5) highest heavens and water above the heavens, 6) earth, 7) sea monsters, 8) all the deeps, 9) fire and hail, 10) snow and frost, 11) stormy wind, 12) mountains, 13) hills, 14) fruit trees and cedars, 15) wild animals, 16) all cattle, 17) creeping things, 18) flying birds, 19) kings of earth, 20) all peoples, 21) princes and all rulers of the earth, 22) young women, 23) young men, and (finally!) 24) old and young together.
This list echoes to me the story of Creation in Genesis—the psalmist is calling on all of creation to praise God.
It also seems an appropriate ending to the end of Advent season. As we reflect on how God came to be with us, Immanuel, in the most amazing story of the birth of Baby Jesus, it is interesting and challenging to ponder praising the powerful God of Creation who controls and sets bounds for all of Creation, the sun and moon, shining stars, stormy winds and so forth. But at the same time, in this special season, we are also called to praise God who we know came as a tiny vulnerable and powerless Baby Jesus.
How do we praise God’s power we see reflected in the amazing forces in our natural world, and how do we praise God’s power in a tiny vulnerable baby?
I would suggest we can praise the power of God in nature by respecting, loving, and caring for God’s creation (rather than abusing and mis-using it) and we can also praise the power of God in Baby Jesus by respecting, loving and caring for each one of God’s precious children. Two good challenges to set before ourselves as we begin a New Year!