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Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul, devotionals to help you in your busy life, written by NEWIM board members and staff. 

Christmas, A Time to Praise

Kim Johnson

“My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior"                                                                                                   Luke 1:46-47 (NIV)

Yes, it is that time again. Seems like we just put the decorations away from last year and here we are, getting them out all over again. Tradition means we’ll do it just like we always have. That’s also the way it is with the Christmas Story. It’s been told and retold for thousands of years. So how do we read it again and expect to get something new from it, year after year?

That is the risk we take we if allow the tradition of the season to be our only focus. Every 364 days we are going to rejoice in God’s love sent to us in the form of the baby Jesus. We all plan on that. Yet, God didn’t just stop sending His love and mercy to us when His Son was born. He has shown up every day since. That means He has been there for us every day this past year as well. Traditions are a good thing. However, if we only concentrate on those, we rob ourselves of the opportunity for something new and spontaneous.  

These verses in Luke are an inspiring reminder as we prepare for Christmas. Mary’s praise in this scripture is an unconstrained response of a thankful child of God. She was overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness and she sings one of the most beautiful and profound songs of worship.

We, too, can allow this time of year to create that kind of response within our hearts. Contemplating the boundless love and mercy our Heavenly Father showed us over the year will no doubt bring something to mind that can cause us to feel the same kind of overpowering gratitude. When we remember His goodness, praise is the best response from a grateful heart.  

Even as we move through the chaos and busyness naturally created by this time of year, let’s take time each day to praise the One who came as well as the One who sent Him.

“Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!”
—Stuart K. Hine, 1949