Monday, Dec. 19          Read Psalm 96

from Victor L. Hunter, First Christian Church, New Martinsville, WV:

“Let heaven and nature sing” at the enthronement of God is the message of Psalm 96, a Psalm set aside for the liturgical use of the church every year in Advent.  Advent is not a period of Christmas preliminaries.  It is a season unto itself, and its theme is the coming of God into the world.  We usually think in terms of the first coming of God in Jesus (incarnation) and the final coming of God in judgment (Parousia).  It is a time of preparation.

We prepare through worship as this Psalm reminds us.  Sing a new song, proclaim God’s marvelous works, praise God’s majesty, revere God’s presence, honor God’s power of love, ascribe God’ life-giving grace.  Worship God in the beauty and light of the sanctuary.  “Let heaven and nature sing.”

Without worship we will shrivel before the false promises of the idols who promise life but cannot deliver it.  In Advent, the great Book of Common Prayer reminds us to “Receive Christ in his first coming as savior, so that you might be ready to welcome him in his second coming as judge.”

Ready our hearts, O God, to welcome Christ our Lord, as we worship you within the chorus of all creation! Amen.