The Psalm Passage – The Week of Christmas: The Lord that has come
“The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame, those who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before him.
Zion hears and is glad, and the towns of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O God. For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil;he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!” (Psalm 97)
This psalm reminds that while Jesus came as an infant child, that was not his true Divine nature. I had emphasized the baby Jesus, because that is one of images that comes to us at Christmas. But I do know that the shepherds and the wise men did not come to worship and pay homage to a mere human child. This was the beginning of something that would change humanity forever. And this psalm passage reminds us of that.
The innocence of childhood gave way to the purity of adulthood for Jesus. We as fallible humans leave behind that innocence to enter adulthood where we are accountable for what we do, and the mistakes [ie, sin] we make. All our decorations, garlands, present-giving, feasting and celebrating will not change that. Only the gift of salvation that God blessed us with and Jesus Christ brought to us will. So we all do well to worship the Child that brought this in a way that we can understand and an example that we can strive to follow.
The Psalm Passage – The First Sunday After Christmas: Praising God
When our Lord has come, after our Lord has come, there are several important things we need to do. First, foremost the day after Christmas, praise the Lord!
“Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike, old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 148)
Then we need to believe; believe that the tiny child born in Bethlehem is Christ our Lord, and the only hope for our salvation and redemption. And on believing, follow Christ our Lord. And when we error and stray away, confess, take on penance, and receive forgiveness. This will be our focus during this lectionary year.
This Christmas season may you, beloved reader, come to know our Lord Jesus Christ anew. And may the coming year be a time of blessing and a season to know the forgiveness of our merciful God. Selah!