Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Of the Father's love begotten
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore.

Oh, that birth forever blessed,
when the virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bore the Savior of our race,
and the babe, the world's redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore.

This is he whom seers in old time
chanted of with one accord,
whom the voices of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
now he shines, the long-expected;
let creation praise its Lord
evermore and evermore.

Let the heights of heav'n adore him;
angel hosts, his praises sing;
pow'rs, dominions, bow before him
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
ev'ry voice in concert ring
evermore and evermore.

Christ, to thee, with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
and unwearied praises be:
honor, glory, and dominion,
and eternal victory
evermore and evermore! Amen.

One of the joys of the Christmas season is the opportunity to sing some of the lovely carols through which the creative imagination of poets and musicians continue to usher us into the celebration of the birth of the Christ-child in a special way that seems to belong only to Christmas. Although church historians tell us that early Christians did not celebrate Christmas until well into the 4th century, some of our earliest carols, like this one, come from this period.

And it is difficult to improve on this one either in its poetic imagination—that links Jesus the Christ as Alpha and Omega from creation to eternity—or in its lilting plainsong melody that has a way of seeping into your mind and accompanying you during your day's activities. And those ancient singers also got the message right from the get-go: Christmas at its heart is about Love. This child born in a manger is all about the Love of God that has been poured out for us in Him.

O God of Love, stir our hearts to receive this child, and then to join with those who sing his praises from creation to eternity as the one in whom all your promises ring true for "evermore." Amen.

James L. Boyce
Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Greek
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1972

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.