Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Thursday, December 10, Morning

By Jenny Cross

Let Heaven and Nature Sing

Read Psalm 105:1-4

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

Each year, there is a great debate regarding when it is appropriate to start listening to Christmas music. Some sit soundly in the camp of “it isn’t Christmastime until after Thanksgiving.” Some cue their holiday playlist the moment the weather turns a bit chilly. Some subscribe to the “Christmas in July” philosophy and listen to carols whenever they need a little joy in their life. I firmly believe that one is not better than another. But regardless if I’m in the Christmas spirit when these songs start playing, their promises of redemption bring hope to my weary soul.

Tucked within familiar carols are nuggets of absolute truth and phrases that put words to our longings. But my favorite Christmas hymn of all time is one that rarely gets sung when caroling around the neighborhood. “Once in Royal David’s City” tells the Christmas story in the first two stanzas, confirms Jesus’ humanity in the third stanza, and reveals God’s motivation for His incarnation in the final stanza. That last one brings tears to my eyes every single time. It reads: “And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love; for that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heaven above; and he leads his children on to the place where he is gone.”

It sums up Christmas so powerfully for me: Jesus came so that we could be with Him. Yes, and amen.

We prepare Him room because He has already made a way for us. And whether that preparation looks like fanfare and the pipe organ, or quietly humming while folding laundry, it all counts. My prayer for this season is that we don’t miss it when heaven and nature sing. And when we hear the joyful chorus, I hope we sing along.


Holy God, We pray that the gift of Christmas is not lost on us this season. After a year that has felt harder and heavier than most, we need the coming of the Christ child more than ever. Open our eyes to the goodness of Your presence and help us to share the light of Jesus with a weary world. Lord, remind us to sing Your praise whether our hearts feel ready or not this season. And teach us to rejoice at Your gift of redemption. Amen.

Jenny Cross is the Youth Director at Church Street UMC.

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