Before the looming, mind-boggling, stupendous presence of God in God’s holy place, we quake. It’s all we can muster. In worship, we adore, we bow, we humbly offer a sacrifice we know is nothing to such a great God. … Maybe at Christmas, when we lift our candles and remember that the shepherds quaked, we might quake and recover that lost sense of worship. The Lord is in his holy temple. The Lord came down as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, his garment of light and life, and we fall on our faces, blown away by the magnitude of God’s presence, measured in tiny fingers and a meek cry. We sing, “Christ the Savior is born!”
—James C. Howell, Why This Jubilee? Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season (Upper Room Books, 2015)
What Christmas traditions help you recognize the magnitude of God’s presence? Join the conversation.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
—Luke 2:8-9 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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