Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Joy: Days 1 and 2

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her king;
Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.

Christmas, the Feast of the Incarnation, is a joyous remembrance of the Word made flesh. Christ is born in the world! The creation of God the Creator becomes the holy dwelling place of the Incarnate God, affirming that while God transcends all of creation, God is not removed from creation. God chooses to be among us, and all of creation sings with joy!

With “Joy to the world” in our hearts and minds, I invite you to join me in looking each of these twelve days for instances of the joy that runs through all of creation, especially through experiencing the beauty and wonder of God’s world.

Here are some of the joys I've experienced the first two days of Christmas.

Christmas Day: We gather green things and flowers to decorate our churches and homes at Christmas. This time of year in the cold parts of the world, flowers bring great joy to us. Church of the Resurrection in Omaha used poinsettias on the altar and a symbolic star above it all to bring some of the joy of the outside world into our sanctuary for Christmas Eve. At home, a gift of flowers brought us the joy of color and beautiful smells.

Second Day of Christmas: Mild weather in our part of Nebraska today made it easy to notice bits of green among the browns and grays that dominate our December landscape. A close-up of an ivy leaf shows a creamy white color and a surprisingly bright rose-colored stripe along with the green. This same ivy on our walls provides shelter for some hardy wrens that have been singing on sunny winter mornings.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns; let us our songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains, repeat the sounding joy.

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