Psalm 97

Dave Linde   -  

December 25, 2022

Heavenly Father, on this Christmas morning we hear in this psalm that you reign as King and that we should rejoice.  We remember that the angel brought to the shepherds good news of great joy, namely, that the Messiah, the King, had been born.  His entrance into the world was a stunning expression of your reign, the next movement in the drama of your Kingly protection and deliverance of your people.  For this we praise you with gladness indeed.

Heavenly Father, on this Christmas morning we hear in this psalm that this joy over your reign is a gift that extends to the distant shores, and we remember that the angel told the shepherds that Christ’s birth was good news for all the people.  We pray that the blessings announced and begun at Christmas would come to all the people groups of the world.

Heavenly Father, on this Christmas morning we hear in this psalm that you are Most High over all the earth, highly exalted above all false gods, and we realize with wonder that one of the greatest, clearest, and most amazing proofs of this is the humble incarnation of your Son, his earthly arrival in Bethlehem’s stable.  What other god has ever done that?  What other treasure, what other basis of confidence and hope, can compare with that?

Heavenly Father, on this Christmas morning we hear that realities such as this should prompt us to hate evil, and we confess that we often falter in this.  We have to admit, Lord, that we too often love evil rather than hating it.  And we get confused, listening to the world rather than to you, about what hate is and what love is and about how to love well and hate well.  Forgive, Lord, our failing to live in alignment with the wondrous realities of Christmas, realities anticipated in this psalm.

We conclude our prayer, God, as the psalm concludes: “Praise his holy name.”  On this Christmas morning we praise your holy name, Lord Jesus Christ, a name that stands for a unique birth, a unique life, a unique death, a unique resurrection, a unique ascension to the right hand of God, a unique Savior who will one day return as invincible Judge, but till then who calls all nations, and all the unbelievers who intersect with our lives, to repent and believe in him for everlasting salvation.  Truly your name, Lord Jesus, is holy.  On this Christmas morning we revel in our King.

And all of God’s people said, “Amen.”