Christmas at Luther College, 2021

Last Friday, my family travelled to Decorah, IA so we could take in “Christmas at Luther,” the annual holiday performance of the combined college choirs and symphony orchestra.   Music was chosen around a theme based on Marty Haugen’s hymn, “Awake! Awake and Greet the New Mourn.”  What was presented masterfully told the story of just how radically profound is the in-breaking of God into the world through the person of Jesus.  Being in the midst of 500+ voices and musicians telling this particular story proved a powerfully moving experience. 

In addition to the music, the college dining service offers a pre-concert dinner for alumni and special guests.  We were treated to a classic Norwegian holiday feast, including piles of lefse, bowls of pickled herring, trays of meatballs and lutefisk, and too many sweet treats to count.  It was at this dinner two years ago that I first tried “Rømmegrøt,” the traditional Norwegian porridge magically made from butter, cream, milk and flour with more melted butter and a sprinkling of sugar on top.  I’m not ashamed to say it, but, I went back for seconds.

It was hard not to think of this experience when reading the text we’ll encounter this Sunday, again from the prophet Isaiah:

“Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.”

God’s promise, the fulfillment we celebrate at Christmas, is to be found in abundance, available for all to enjoy.  Today I’m wondering what Christmas abundance have you experienced in the past and are looking to again this year?  How might God be feeding you through the traditions of this holiday season?  Whether it’s beautiful music to drink in, cream-thickened flour and sugar treats to consume, or some other lavishly appointed holiday treat, know that these too are a glimpse of God’s abundant love – prepared and waiting, just for you.

May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…

“Awake! Awake and greet the new morn,
for angels herald its dawning.
sing out your joy, for Jesus is born,
behold! the Child of our longing.
Come as a baby weak and poor,
to bring all hearts together,
to open wide the heavenly door,
and lives now inside us forever.”


“Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn,” Marty Haugen, © 1983, GIA Publications, Inc.