Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 66, 67 (Morning)
Psalm 116, 117 (Evening)
1 Samuel 2: 1b-10
Titus 2: 1-10
Luke 1: 26-38


This year I have been surprised at how precious and real and important the Christmas season has been for me as it settled in my heart. It’s been a tough year to say the least and there have been times when I must admit I felt like the world as I once knew it was slipping away forever. I often felt unsafe, worried, and frightened for most of 2017.

I sat down front and center for the St. Paul’s Christmas Pageant on December 17 and choked up at the very first notes of On Come All Ye Faithful, and then the tears really flowed as all the young angels and sheep, shepherds, and kings filled the chancel with the promise of hope and for yet another year the songs, traditions, and wonder of Christmas broke my heart wide open.

This morning’s Psalm of praise and thanksgiving reminds us to Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name. And so we did this Christmas season, and just like all the other Christmas Pageants before this one, the traditional Christmas hymns continue to break our hearts open to the wonders of God’s love.

I believe there is great power in the singing of a song. Have you ever been scrolling past one negative post after another on Facebook and then suddenly landed on a video of a flash mob breaking out in song to the surprise of folks eating lunch at a mall or walking through a train station? I cry tears of pure joy every time I watch one of those. There are the spirituals that slaves sang out in the fields to bring them comfort or to send messages through the Underground Railroad; and the union songs of Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, and other organizers to galvanize workers.

Psalm 66 also promises, in verse 9, that God will keep us safe and not let our feet slip. This also brings me great comfort as I look back on 2017 and realize that we have all been on some pretty slippery slopes, both personally and politically, but we are still standing in the grace of God’s love and support.

Written by Kathy McGregor

Kathy is a first year student in the Iona Initiative of Arkansas where she is discerning a call to the diaconate. She’s also a shy songwriter and guitar player.

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