Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • December 25
Christmas Day

James Cornwell
Kiss the Son
A Reading from Psalm 2

1    Why are the nations in an uproar? *
    Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?
2    Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
    against the LORD and against his Anointed?
3    "Let us break their yoke," they say; *
    "let us cast off their bonds from us."
4    He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
    the Lord has them in derision.
5    Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
    and his rage fills them with terror.
6    "I myself have set my king *
   upon my holy hill of Zion."
7    Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
    he said to me, "You are my Son;
    this day have I begotten you.
8    Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for
                             your inheritance *
    and the ends of the earth for your possession.
9    You shall crush them with an iron rod *
   and shatter them like a piece of pottery."
10    And now, you kings, be wise; *
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11    Submit to the LORD with fear, *
    and with trembling bow before him;
12    Lest he be angry and you perish; *
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.

13    Happy are they all *
    who take refuge in him!

The season of anticipation is behind us; Christmas is here. We are left with a kind of quiet; a peace that comes from the presence of God in the form of a newborn baby. 

We may ask with the psalmist, then:

Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed.

Not everyone was pleased at the birth of Christ. The liturgical colors of this season are gold and white, but the twelve days are marked with the red blood of the martyrs. Jesus heralds the point at which the author of history enters into his story, provides its meaning, its climax, and gives away the ending. The remaining days of this age are simply a working out of the mercy of the Lord’s First Coming until we reach the Second. The leaders of the world — be they political, spiritual, or intellectual — rise up, already subordinated to the promise (or threat) of the return of Christ, and not all of them are willing to quietly accede.

The child from the manger thus issues his warning:

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
    be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
    and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.

It is perhaps providential that the end of the secular year comes so soon after the beginning of the liturgical year. It is a reminder that the powers of this world are ever in their twilight days, and the kingdom of God is always dawning anew, until that blessed day in which the sun shall rise in its fullness, revealing the pale emptiness of even the brightest lights of men. That sun is the Son that lies quietly in the manger. 

Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Merry Christmas. 

James Cornwell lives and works in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife Sarah and their seven children.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Houston
The Anglican Church of Melanesia
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book

Copyright © 2022 The Living Church, All rights reserved.