Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. The Washington DC Community of Christ congregation is meeting in person for the first time since the pandemic closed the building in March 2020. As I checked in with people to see if they were coming, people were eager to get together again. I sent emails, made phone calls and talked about it to everyone. It really made me think about the song “O Come, All Ye Faithful”. The number of people making plans to come grew.
“O Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.” Even if people still can’t make it to the worship service, their faithfulness is not in question. We are Faithful Servants of God as we walk our journey in life. And there is a sense of triumph. We have waited so long, been faithful in seeking out ways to make our bes life and also find opportunities to worship online. So after so long – we are triumphant!
The next line is “O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.” We are being invited to Bethlehem. Just like the shepherds were invited so long ago. But they didn’t know what was waiting for them. We do. I keep asking myself what it would have been like to have lived in that time. People talked about the coming of the Messiah but they had no idea what that meant. We have such amazing hindsight. I read those 2 lines of this carol again and imagine myself on a trek to Bethlehem. Close your eyes and repeat the line “O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.”
When we sing this carol, the refrain repeats, “O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.” When we sing the chorus and begin repeating those words, each repeated phrase just seems to naturally swell and swell in volume.
The song is an invitation, but it is also a song of praise! “Glory to God, all glory in the highest.” It is healing to praise God. As you repeat your joy and adoration, the words become feelings. What feelings do you feel when singing this song?
As I read through the words of all the verses, I find myself slowing down as I read through the last stanza of the last verse “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.” God’s word morphed into human life, lived with us, walked beside us, breathed our air, and shared our meals. It’s a marvelous, miraculous, and incredible act of God.
As we sing the old familiar Christmas carols, don’t let the words mindlessly slip past your tongue. Sing the praises loudly, feel the joy grow within you. And marvel at the story they tell.
Dear God, we come as part of the Faithful. As part of those singing in exultation. Help us absorb the marvelous wonder of your greatest gift of all. May we be reminded that baby Jesus was just the beginning of an incredible journey you walked with us. And help us realize you still walk with us today. Thank you for loving us so much. In Jesus’ extraordinary name, Amen.
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.