Summary: Meditation for November 25, 2007 singspiration.
This is the season of the song. What holiday, other than perhaps Easter, do we celebrate and remember with so much singing? Christmas carols and songs are a part of this holiday season. What would Christmas be like without the classic carols, “Silent Night” or” Away In A Manger?” Or the traditional favorites like “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas,” or a song about a famous reindeer, “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer?”
We look forward to the annual kids program because the heartiness with which they sing means a great deal to us. Our bell choir is also a looked forward to group because of the richness of their music.
In Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth, angelic praise, which I think we can call singing, is a part of the story.
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.
Also in Luke’s account we read of Mary singing for joy after she is told that the baby she will carry is the promised Messiah who will ‘save his people from their sins.’
“Oh, how I praise the Lord.
How I rejoice in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation
will call me blessed.
For he, the Mighty One, is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
His mercy goes on from generation to generation, to all who fear him.”
Over the centuries we have praised the Lord not only in prayer but also in song. The Bible, as we know, is filled with songs; songs of praise, songs of deliverance, songs of hope, and even songs of grief and sadness.
Music, as we know, is a powerful, powerful thing. And the songs that we have sung this morning are powerful and important songs.
They are songs that remind us of the greatness of our God, of His power, of His love, of His care, of His salvation.
I sometimes try to imagine just how different this time of year would be without the wonderful music that is such a part of the season. But I really can’t image what it would be like. So much of this season is remembered in our music.
But even as we have sung this morning, we need to remember the words of Matthew as we enter another Christmas season because they are words that were spoken first and then set to music and without them, there is no Christmas season, no Christmas reality and of course no Christmas music.
“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this happened to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel
(meaning, God is with us).”
The child came, God was with us (and still is!) we have been set free from our sins by Jesus’ sacrifice! And because of this freedom, this salvation, we sing, ‘Praise the Lord! Great is thy faithfulness, Holy, Holy, Holy, and He walks with me and He talks with me,’ and a whole host of other great truths that began long before the baby in the manger when in the heart of God the Father, He said, “I am going to get them back, I am going to make it possible for them to come home to me!”
So let us again sing, sing, sing to the Lord a song of praise and thanksgiving for all He has done for us. Amen? Amen!