One of my favorite experiences of the church has been writing songs for our Sunday meetings, and I’ve been honored to see how they’ve circulated in our community. Translating the poetry of Scripture and the church mothers and fathers into music is a meditative act for me, and I hope that you can get a sense of that this week. — Andrew Yang

Today’s Bible reading

Who, being in very nature God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

    by taking the very nature of a servant,

    being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

    he humbled himself

    by becoming obedient to death—

        even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:6-11

More Thoughts for Meditation:

Take on our eyes and our hands and our feet

Cry with our lungs and the air that we breathe

The things that we were, and we are, and we do

They are now holy cause you did them too


Light from Light, God from God

Flesh like ours, breath and blood 

I wrote “Light from Light” for an Advent season when I was tired of singing “O Come O Come Emmanuel” every week (Although “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is still objectively the best Advent or Christmas song). “Light from Light” draws on imagery from the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith from the 4th century:

  God from God,

        Light from Light,

        true God from true God,

   begotten, not made;

   of the same essence as the Father.

   Through him all things were made.

   For us and for our salvation

        he came down from heaven;

        he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,

        and was made human.

The Nicene Creed is some top-class poetry in my opinion. But the beauty of the creed isn’t in the high mindedness of phrases like “God from God, Light from Light.” God is big and grand and that’s all well and good, but that’s not the point of the creed or the mystery of the incarnation. The point is in that understated line at the end: “[he] was made human.”

St. Gregory of Nazianzus wrote: “That which is not taken up is not healed. That which is united to God, that will be saved.”

St. Gregory was refuting a 4th century heresy that said that God only took on parts of humanity when God became human. St. Gregory’s response is that God came to save us by becoming us, and in order to save all us, God had to take on all of what makes us, us. Otherwise, not all of us would be saved.

I did my best to reflect this idea in the final verse of Light from Light:

The things that we were, and we are, and we do

They are now holy cause you did them too

Suggestions for action

It is literal heresy to believe that any part of what makes you, you, is not shared by God through Jesus, and therefore made holy.

Because of this, any ordinary human act can be imbued with holiness, if we take the time to see it that way. In recognizing that even ordinary things that we do, eating, breathing, talking, relating to one another, are acts we share with God “by whom all things were made,” we can bring the beauty of the incarnation into our whole lives. Even more, we can recognize that the people around us are involved in sacred acts of their own, and remember that in his humanity, Jesus unites us to God and to each other.