An Advent Reading for Sunday, December 24

Hymn 87, Joy to the World

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Psalm 98:4 NIV

   I will never cease to be amazed at the miracle of childbirth. It is how all those pieces of the puzzle line up to create a magnificent little human being. Those tiny hands, fingers and feet. The little noses and ears. All so intricately and wondrously made. 
   I can’t help but believe most people think the same thing as I do. Look at how they line up at the window of the natal units of hospitals. Listen to them gush over babies they see in the stores and on the streets; it is what we do.
   I get an even bigger kick out of people trying to figure out who the baby looks like. It’s Mom … No, it’s Dad. I personally think they all look like Shar Pei puppies.
   Oh, but don’t we get especially excited when that baby is closely related to us? The emotions, the excitement, the anxious waiting for the birth day. We all are so thrilled with any baby being born. But the ones closest to us take a pretty special place in our hearts and lives. 
   Two thousand years ago, a whole lot of people got that kind of excited about a little baby being born in a manger. Mom and Dad were excited. Some shepherds were excited. Magi from far away were thrilled to finally see the baby where the star had led them. Not only was this baby close to those folks, but he took up a pretty special place in all of our hearts and lives as well.
   This wasn’t just joy to those folks over in Nazareth, or grandparents, or any other relatives. There was something extra special about this particular baby. This one was “Joy to the World! Joy to the World! The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King!”
   Now THAT is something to be excited about!

Clyde Oberg