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December 16 | Psalm 105:1-11


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Stirring Up Joy

by Mary Alice McGinnis


When I was a girl, my mom spent hours upon hours, days upon days, and weeks upon weeks preparing some special Christmas treats. Her preparation began in the beginning of November, collecting all her favorite Christmas cookie recipes, then heading off to the store to buy all the best ingredients. Each week in November, she would bake one or two of her favorite recipes.

 

Christmas cutouts with buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

Rich, soft molasses and date cookies.  

Yummy pecan sandies.

Lovely white peaks of divinity made from baked meringue.

Mouthwatering, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies. 

Scrumptious snickerdoodles.

Buckeyes and other homemade chocolates. (Just to name a few.)



Mom’s cookie making required a lot of stirring. These cookies could not be whipped up with an electric mixer. Oh no, no, no. All the ingredients needed to be tossed into her bowl and carefully stirred together using a large wooden spoon until mixed just right.

 

The end result?


Dozens of various kinds of goodies, baked and shaped to perfection. To bring some joy, some extra special Christmas cheer - to our friends, family, and neighbors.

 

In today’s reading, the Psalmist is gently, yet enthusiastically, stirring up our hearts to “Give praise to the Lord.” Notice all the verbs he uses? 

 

Give praise!

Proclaim!

Make known!

Sing!

Tell!

Glory!

Look!

Seek!

Remember!

 

Just like the ingredients in cookie dough, each verb interacts with the previous, to stir our hearts into more and more heightened, intense, exuberant worship!

 

And who is the object of all this rejoicing? Is it our circumstances? Is it the money we have or the food on our table? Is it our family and friends? Is it the job we have or the house we live in? Is it dependent upon who will be around our Christmas table this year?

 

No! The center of our praise - the reason for our rejoicing - is the LORD!


The word “LORD” in the Hebrew is Yahweh—the “I Am Who I Am,” the personal name of God. His name was thought to be so holy that they could not even speak it, so they used the name Jehovah.

 

He has done wonderful things!

His name is Holy!

We can rely upon His strength!

We can seek His face!

We can remember all His mighty deeds, all His miracles, and His power and justice reigns supreme.

We need only to remind ourselves of the promises He has made, and that He will fulfil every one of them! His eternal covenant will be accomplished.

 

Hundreds of years later, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, filled with the Holy Spirit repeated some of these same words from today’s Psalm. It was revealed to him that God was unfolding His everlasting covenant promise before his very eyes. Jesus was born, “to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.”


The name Jesus means—Jehovah Saves. He is the God incarnate born to save us! 


Oh, Joy upon Joy! If we have nothing else to rejoice about, He is more than enough. He is worthy! When we remember His wonders, they are enough to stir up everlasting, exuberant, JOY!  

  

PRAYER

Stir up our hearts, Oh Lord, to praise You. When our hearts are darkened by all the sadness, cruelty, brokenness of our world, turn our hearts to see YOU. Help us to seek Your face. You have promised that those who seek You, Lord, will rejoice. Remind us again and again of all Your wondrous deeds from the beginning of time until even now. And all that You will YET DO! You sent Jesus to save us! And You are coming back for us!

 

We give You praise! We proclaim You! We will make You known! We sing! We tell! We boast and glory in YOU! We look to You. We seek You! We remember all You have done.


You are our everlasting, unending JOY!







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