How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
Rejoice, O you servants of the Lord! We bear the good tidings of the coming of the perfect King to all the world. Today is the culmination of our celebration, the appointed day on which we honor the birth of the King of kings on earth. Shout for joy; burst into songs of joy! The Lord has comforted his people, and the fulfillment of that prophecy has come, in which it is written, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever. He will swallow up death forever; the Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.”
In the past God overlooked the ignorance of the world, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For though in the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. We who are privileged to bear the knowledge of the Son, declare it to all the nations! For all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God; may we proclaim peace and salvation, that those who hear might rejoice with us! May we who have seen the glory of the one and only, and the grace and truth from God, do our duty to bring in the full number of our brothers and sisters. O how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Today we marvel at the humility of our great King, who so associated himself with us that he sent his Son to the world – that the Word, who was with God and was God and was from the beginning, through whom all things were made, would deign to become flesh and dwell among us! Praise be to God! For though we were without hope and without God in the world, he sent the light of the world to us, we who could never obtain righteousness ourselves. We who walked in darkness and lived in the land of the shadow of death, received our greatest gift and did not recognize it.
Honor and glory to the Christ, the Son of the living God! For though the King of kings, he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but came to us as the lowest of the low: a helpless babe lying in a manger. To associate with the lowly and despised, and to understand and bear every infirmity, our King would not accept even a guestroom, but chose to lie with animals at his birth. Would we have seen his majesty and had the hearts to see that the one who made us, and to whom we belong, was coming! Then we should have lavished him with glory and honor from the treasures of our hearts, as did the wise men from the east.
What gift is it that we received in you, Jesus, and who are you such that we may honor you and receive you? It is written that the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So this season we remember the salvation that comes from the Christ, as we proclaim the news of his redemption. Because of Christ, we who walked in darkness can live free to choose goodness, for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. How great is it that we no longer have to live in slavery to sin, but can set our hearts and minds on the Bridegroom of his people!
Oh let us further declare the good news of the Lord! Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Then we look with unfailing hope for the return of our Lord to Zion. Through the world did not welcome his at his first visitation, may this season of Advent each year be a reminder to us to prepare in our hearts room for the return of the King; at even the thought our hearts burst into songs of joy. For to those who receive him, he gave the right to become children of God and inherit eternal life; an abiding knowledge of the living Son of God, a spring of living water that will well up into eternal life for others. Let us be faithful to his kingdom!
Praise the Lord! Bless his name for the gift of his Son! For through your Son came all things, and he who is the light of the world is also our life, peace, salvation, and righteous judge. Hallelujah! In this season, as we speak “Merry Christmas!” to one another, let us proclaim this good news to all we meet.
Allen Lai ’20 is a Chemistry and Physics concentrator in Quincy.