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Advent Devotional #23

Today's devotion from Goshen College:

DEC. 24 - SO MANY VOICES OF PRAISE


By Ben Bouwman, a junior social work major from Woodridge, Ill.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 148 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

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DEVOTIONAL:
This Psalm speaks for itself; only having read the first four verses, the message is very clear: Praise the Lord! The Psalmist goes on to explain everything that praises God, from the people to animals to the snow to the trees.
Everything that God has created praises God.

Working at a summer camp for the past two summers has helped me listen and appreciate God's creation and the song it sings. One specific activity that we do with the campers is "Deer’s Ears." While sitting in nature, everybody cups their hands around their ears and in the minute of silence, we listen to anything we can hear. It is amazing all of the noises and sounds that are happening without us even realizing it. And once we actually stop and listen, there are so many voices singing and praising God. The gentle wind brushing through the branches praises God. The birds chirping to one another lift their voices to God. The loud baa's from the goats singing their praises to God.

I always look forward to the first real snow fall of the season. Although it means the beginning of a long cold Goshen winter, the beauty never ceases to amaze me. I can see what is seemingly an inanimate object reflect the creativity and the beauty of our Creator. Something so simple can transform a brown, dead earth to a bright shining world. On a sunny day following the first snow fall, it is often so bright that one must squint to block out much of the light. God’s bright snow shines on our faces.

Although, I look forward to this first snow fall, I know there are many more children who are eagerly awaiting this first snow fall more than I am and can’t wait to get out and play. We need to be like these children and eagerly await God’s face. God's face can be seen in so many places, but we must be willing to look for it. In our search for God's face, our faces will soon reflect God's face and we will shine! May our faces shine in praises to our Lord, the Creator of all the Earth!

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SCRIPTURE: Psalm 148 (NRSV)
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
He established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!

Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike, old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!


View all of this season's devotions at http://www.goshen.edu/devotions

Goshen College
http://www.goshen.edu
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The views and beliefs expressed in the devotional piece prepared by each individual reflect their own spiritual growth journey and thoughts, and while created in a campus environment that encourages thoughtful questions and reflection on biblical Scripture and contemporary Christian themes, do not necessarily represent the official institutional positions of Goshen College or Mennonite Church USA.

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