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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Sunday, December 31, 2017

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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:

Venite adoremus,
venite adoremus,
venite adoremus Dominum.

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

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

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

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

This was a favorite hymn of mine when I was growing up. With its joyous tones, the energetic spirit in which people sing it and the message of invitation and adoration, what's not to love? It's theology of the, "word now become flesh" is great for sound teaching! However, this hymn brought forth new meaning for me when my grandmother passed away, and when my uncle, who seemed more like a grandfather, also passed away. It was then that the third verse really struck home with me: "Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!" When I was singing that verse, my grandma and uncle were there with me, singing God's praise at this joyous, wonderful moment. No matter what, whether living or dead, we are God's citizens, we are God's choir and we are singing God's praise. As you begin this new week, may you be reminded that you are connected and surrounded by so many faithful who are supporting you here on earth and in heaven above.

Amazing God, you unite us from generation to generation. As we gather in song and praise, let us share the love and peace which surpasses all understanding that is only found in you. Let the song that echoes in our heart ring loud through our words and actions this Christmas season. Amen.

Nathan Strong, '11
Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Carrollton, Texas

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