In 2023 we lost one of America’s great pastors, evangelists, and advocates of Christian worldview, Dr. Timothy Keller. We mourn his loss at age 72. Since mid-2019, we’ve cited Dr. Keller’s name and work at least 15 times. The room in the picture above is empty, yet filled with the light, anticipation, and hope of Jesus Christ, to whom Dr. Keller devoted his life.
For review over the weekend, we recommend the meditation for Christmas Day by Tim and Kathy Keller quoted in full below from their devotional published in 2015, The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms (page 359). In 365 lessons, the devotional presents all 150 Psalms with daily comment and prayer. An overriding theme is the Psalms’ anticipation of a Savior, the Son of God and Man.
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. 2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free,8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.
Psalm 146, NIV
Praise for Justice
The final five psalms are all praise and joy. This teaches us that “the Psalms are a miniature of our story as a whole, which will end in unbroken blessing and delight.” It also teaches us that all true prayer “pursued far enough, becomes praise.” It may take a long time or a lifetime, but all prayer that engages God and the world as they truly are will eventually end in praise. This particular psalm praises God because he guarantees justice. He cares for the poor, hungry, prisoner, physically impaired, soul weary, immigrant, and single parents (verses 7-9). He cared so much he became a helpless baby born to poor parents. Praise the Lord!
Lord, I thank you that you cared so much for us that you became a vulnerable mortal and died to satisfy the demands of justice against sin. I praise you for your unspeakable gifts this Christmas Day. Amen.
Keller, T., & Keller, K. (2015b). The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms. Viking.
Since creation, God’s greatest act of grace is the birth of Jesus Christ. We will take up the theological, philosophical, and worldview pillar of grace in 2024.
If you want more about how Dr. Keller believed grace should operate in our lives today, please review this short video (2:19) about his best selling book, The Reason for God (2009). In addition, please take a look at this longer video (7:08) presented in one of our 15 earlier “Keller” posts.
God made creation for human beings, and His grace works best through the work and praise we give Him every day. The West would be nothing without His birth.
On Christmas Day, we wish you, your family, and your friends the blessings and delight that are ours forever, through Jesus Christ our Lord.