by Rev. Mark Caldwell, FUMC Ft. Lauderdale, FL
First, read Colossians 3:12-17
If asked to name the first Christmas song, many would struggle—and rightfully so. Christmas music is a genre of music that exists because of the extent of time that songs have existed. Yet, so many of these songs sing about a season, but one without recognition of a holiday.
It’s not about freshly fallen snow or decorated trees. It’s barely about mangers or overbooked inns. The meaning of Christmas moves well beyond a newborn child and choirs of angels. The focus of the season becomes another reason to glorify God.
Mary sings the first Christmas song as she lifts her song in praise as heard in Luke 1:46-47:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”
How often have we listened to holiday music for hours on end only to realize that in the midst of lyrics detailing snowy nights and culinary delights that there is a void of divine recognition?
For me, it is most notable when listening to Christmas music on satellite radio. One station is saturated with secular Christmas songs. When the Classical Christmas station is offered, you are hard-pressed to hear a song that doesn’t mention the biblical account of the birth of Jesus.
This is not meant to disparage Frosty, Rudolph or the decorated Tannenbaum in our living room. It may just be a reminder that at its core, this season and its music can, and should in many ways shift our focus to one like Mary’s. We can use this time to magnify the Lord and rejoice in God our savior.
Today’s scripture calls us to “sing with gratitude in our hearts.” Christmas carols have a way of bringing people together and reminding us to celebrate the true blessings of the season and of faith in Jesus Christ.
Pick a few of your favorite Christmas carols, dress up in your silliest Christmas gear and use your phone to video yourself singing. Then, send the video to a family member or friend you don’t get to see very often. Or, make a DVD and give it to a person you know who can’t leave the house much anymore. End your video by giving thanks for your friends and wish them a Merry Christmas. Even if you can’t carry a tune, you’ll be sure to create a smile and a happy memory for your family.
What are your favorite Christmas carols? Do they remind you of a special time or a special place?