Christmas in May

Sunday morning I drove up the interstate to preach at a storefront church about two hours north of where I live.  I haven’t been at the altar or in the pulpit since last November.  Been recovering from some nasty emotional blows.  So being called back into action by God and God’s people was like a Christmas-in-May present.

In Watertown, South Dakota

On top of that, it was a tourism bureau (or maybe realtors’) dream day here.  The beauty of earth and sky is hard to write up without typing a string of platitudes.

The embrace and perfume of earth and sky was another Christmas-in-May gift.

The Psalm appointed in the Revised Common Lectionary was 96, which included

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it; let the field be joyful and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord when he comes, when he comes to judge the earth. (Psalm 96:11-12)

That Christmas hymn?  You know, the one where “Heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing,” etc.?  Like so many of the traditional hymns, it has sound Biblical foundation.

The whole creation rejoices in the Spirit that brought life giving order out of primal chaos; the Father who made it fruitful and called it “good,” and the Son who chose to share it’s suffering under sin and is coming again to make it new forever.

Heav’n and nature sing.  Sky, water, plants and animals recognize and rejoice in the Creator, even as we, the creatures made in His image, ignore Him and pollute the creation with sin.

But the gift is greater, at Christmas, in May or anytime, because the Word through whom all things were made intercedes for us as heav’n and nature lead cheers for His saving work.


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