Summary: A look at various songs song on the first Christmas
Well it’s getting close isn’t it? Only fifteen more days and Christmas will be here. And you know if you were to poll the western world you’d probably find that Christmas is the most popular time of the year, for Christians and non-Christians alike. Much of what makes this time of the year special is the music. The sacred, “O Come all Ye Faithful”, “Angels From the Realms of Glory”, “Silent Night” to the secular “Frosty the Snowman” “Jingle Bells” “White Christmas” and my personal favorite, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
Much of how we feel about the Yuletide season is wrapped in songs. That is part of the reason some stores start playing Christmas music in late August. But have you ever looked at the songs of Christmas in the Bible? That first Christmas was full of singing and songs. Songs and music were a vital part of the Jewish culture into which Jesus was born. From the very announcement of the conception of the Christ child until his circumcision and blessing the songs of praise were lifted into the heavens. So what songs are you singing this Christmas?
Luke 1:46-55 records Mary’s Song. You remember the story. It’s in the same chapter that Bruce started reading this morning. Perhaps you’ll recall how the Angel Gabriel visited this young virgin from Nazareth. We don’t stop to think about this but Mary wasn’t a young virgin of 23 or 24 instead she was a young teenager. You see historically in that particular culture the marrying age for females was like 13 or 14 years old. And this particular teenager was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph.
And into her relatively uncomplicated life comes some dude with wings who says “Hey Mary, guess what? You’re going to have a baby. As a matter of fact you are going to have a son, and you’ll call his name Jesus and he will be great, the son of the highest, the Lord God will give him the throne of David, and His kingdom will know no end.”
Now at this point I’m sure that Mary interrupted Gabriel and said, “Hey Gabe, there’s just one small problem, my biological knowledge may be limited but isn’t it true that this great and wondrous act can’t be accomplished alone. Am I right here?” And Gabriel would have said, “Right” to which Mary’s response would have been “Then it ain’t gonna happen cause I’m still a virgin.” “Oh” says Gabriel “Did I forget to mention, the child’s father will be the Holy Spirit.”
Can’t you just imagine the smile starting to creep over Mary’s face, “Right, get out of here.” But Gabriel’s response is found in Verse 37, which perchance is one of my favourite Bible passages because it says For nothing is impossible with God.”
You like that? Tell you what if that don’t light your fire then your kindling’s wet. But you gotta put yourself in Mary’s shoes just for a minute. You’re a young teen, the child of a religious family, engaged to a respectable member of the community and now some one is telling you that you are going to become pregnant. And the Father is going to be the Holy Spirit.
But who is going to believe her story? Her parents? Joseph? Her friends? “Hey Mom and Dad, guess what? I’m going to have a baby, but it’s cool because the Dad’s God!” Now I’m sure that each of you as parents would believe your teen aged daughter if she told you that. Am I right, should I ask for a show of hands?
2000 years ago it was common knowledge within the Jewish community that the Messiah was going to be born of a virgin. Now teen-age pregnancy is not a new problem, however the story of the Holy Spirit being the Father isn’t used nearly as much now as it was then. Here’s a little aside from a secular report entitled “The Role of Responsibility and Knowledge in Reducing Teenage out of Wedlock Childbearing” “Teenage girls are more likely to experience out of wedlock births if they are going steady and if they and their parents don’t hold to values that stress responsibility. After examining various factors relating to teenage pregnancy, researches found the following connections:
Ÿ Going steady increase the chances of teenagers experiencing childbirth by 121 percent. Of the variables examined on the chances of out of wedlock teenage childbearing.
Ÿ When adolescents and their parents hold to values that stress responsibility, the teenagers chances of experiencing out of wedlock pregnancies fall significantly.
Ÿ Knowledge about birth control and knowledge gained from sex education courses apparently have no effect on the chances of teenage pregnancy.
That was free. Now with all of these things said note the first words of Mary’s song, Luke records in chapter 1:46-47 Mary responded, Oh, how I praise the Lord. How I rejoice in God my Savior!