Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas without carols? Part One

Could you imagine Christmas without any carols?  Going through the whole of December without hearing ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ or singing ‘Silent night, holy night’.  Sometimes when I am out collecting as the corps band is playing carols people will say to me – “Now I know Christmas is really on its way”, as they listen to the band playing.

A Christmas season without any carols announcing the birth of a world’s Saviour;  can you imagine it?  What a tragedy it would be if the first ever had no music to announce the coming of Jesus.

There was though!  Much singing and rejoicing.  The account of his birth would seem unfinished without it and the bible would be incomplete without Mary’s song.

‘My soul glorifies the Lord!’ sings Mary. These verses in Luke 1 are often referred to as the ‘the Magnificat’ -   it means to Magnify.  ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in Christ my Saviour!’

This is pretty amazing when you think about it.  God has just informed Mary, via an angel, that she is to conceive a child, one that will not be born from union with Joseph.  This is going to be the talk of the village – and not in a good way.  This will cause uproar and bring shame to a family.  Because who on earth is going to believe her version of accounts? 

Let’s face it – would you?

I had enough trouble trying to convince my mum and dad that I was way too unwell to go to school when I was a teenager – let anything as big as this!!

But this is no fairytale – this is real and this is huge.   Yet, although Mary cannot understand how this could be.  Even though Mary perhaps found it difficult to get her head around the question of ‘why me?’  She trusts in her God.  She accepts his will for her life.  And she worships him.  Her soul magnifies the Lord.   She marvels in his bigness, his greatness – his magnificence.  And she sings a beautiful song and advent would be lacking without it.
End Part One

Major Sheila Loman
Commanding Officer
Birkenhead, UK

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