In Psalms, celebration and devotion lift our spirits and center our hearts for Christ. "O bless the Lord, my soul!" is a call to excite our souls for the Lord in cheerful praise. It is especially fitting this time of year to celebrate with joyful praise in remembrance of His holiness. We remember all of the good works He has done for us and others. By being engaged with our hearts, we reflect inwardly and consider the everlasting love of our Lord. During the holiday season, there are many delightful reminders that help stir our emotions and bring us back to reflecting on what Christmas is really all about.
When I was growing up, my three sisters and I always put on a Christmas play for our parents. We'd practice for days memorizing lines, fabricating homemade props, creating one-hit wonders about holidays and acting out what we thought it would be like to have been in Bethlehem. The last skit was almost always the same every year. We reverently placed a swaddled doll in a makeshift manger and sang Silent Night. It was not okay to giggle during this rendition, as the last "peace" had to wind down to a whisper followed by a long pause and then an exit. It was the simple stuff kids do, but the message had to end with thoughtfulness about our lives and homage paid to baby Jesus.
It was a great tradition during a simpler era. Yet, the way we can prepare our hearts for Christmas is timeless, just as the joy that comes with celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Be glad, sing praises, ready yourself for the wonders that Christmas brings. In this often hectic time of year, decide what will help you prepare your heart for Christmas. Perhaps it is keeping traditions alive or creating new ones with friends and family. Maybe it's quiet reflection or finding others who need your time and talents. Or it could be that last moment of Silent Night, ending with tranquility.