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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Sunday, January 05, 2020

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1 O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come and behold him,
born the king of angels:

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

2 The highest, most holy,
light of light eternal,
born of a virgin, a mortal he comes;
Son of the Father
now in flesh appearing!  Refrain

3 Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
in the highest:  Refrain

4 Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory giv'n!
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:  Refrain

Text: attr. John Francis Wade, 1711-1786; tr. Frederick Oakeley, 1802-1880, sts. 1, 3-4; tr. unknown, st. 2

My alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, puts on a Christmas concert every year shortly before students take finals and head home for the holidays. Christmas in Christ Chapel -- or "C-in-CC" in Gustie-speak -- fills the cavernous, concrete chapel with hundreds of people, and there are hundreds upon hundreds more watching the live-stream online. At the end of every concert, each choir, the orchestra, the bell choir, the organ, and the entire congregation join together in singing "O Come, All Ye Faithful."

It is an incredibly moving experience. I often see choir members with tears running down their faces as they belt out the joyous strains. I feebly sing along at home, watching online, and I usually can't get through it without choking up. Adding to the emotion is the fact that this is a reunion of sorts, not unlike the reunion of God's people we hear about in Jeremiah, as families, current students, and alumni alike, all come back together to adore Christ in our midst. It is a fully embodied experience of the "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing."

Faithful God, you draw all people to yourself, and we can't help but worship and adore you. Appear to us today, in spirit and in flesh, that we would experience the fullness of your love. Amen.

Drew Yackel, '14
Pastor, Urland Lutheran Church, Cannon Falls, Minn.

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