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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This is he whom seers in old time
chanted of with one accord,
whom the voices of the prophets
promised in their faithful word.
Now he shines, the long-expected.
Let creation praise its Lord,
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven, adore him.
Angel hosts, his praises sing.
Powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent;
every voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
and unwearied praises be.
Honor, glory, and dominion,
and eternal victory,
evermore and evermore! Amen.

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius’s “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”
(tune: Divinum Mysterium)
trans. John Mason Neale and Henry Williams Baker
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

“They’re here!” My mom called out, her voice echoing through the house. It was a familiar sound, one that took me back to childhood holidays when our house would fill up with grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, extra pets, and good food. These days, my parents are the grandparents, and this call from my mom indicated the arrival of my two stepsisters and baby niece for our family Thanksgiving. My brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and another baby niece would arrive shortly after. My family spends most of our time spread out across the country, loving each other from afar while we live our own busy lives. This year, our holiday time together was just a brief twenty-four hours, but it was a day brimming over with the kind of joy that only a sense of homecoming can bring.

In this season, when we celebrate the coming of Christ, we reflect on the promise of a better world that he brings. We have filled ourselves with hope and expectation and the possibility of justice and true peace. But the coming of Christ also carries with it that deep and particular joy that only a homecoming can bring. With the coming of Jesus, we are invited into family, invited to come home to an endless dance of relationship with God, Christ, Holy Spirit, and one another. Jesus bears with him the promise of home for all people, of being claimed and known and loved. It is a joyful promise indeed.

Loving God, we give thanks for your Son and for the invitation into family, love, and home that he brings. Help us to extend that same joyful love to one another this season. Amen.

Written by Layton Williams, Pastoral Resident

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