December 12, 2019
After sharing the news of her pregnancy with her relative Elizabeth, Mary the mother of Jesus burst into song: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior" (Luke 1:46-47). Though the text simply says that Mary "said" these things, her words follow the pattern of Hebrew poetry used by the psalmists and prophets before her, suggesting that these words would have been sung just like the hymns used in Israel's worship. Thus, Mary's poetry of praise in Luke 1:46-55 is often called "Mary's song," and choral settings of this canticle have had a special place in the sacred music of the Church for centuries. The implication of all this singing is that there are some occasions for which ordinary prose is simply inadequate. To express the miracle of the Incarnation and the drama of our salvation, we need the added dimensions of emotion and whole-body devotion that come with singing.
This coming Sunday, we'll celebrate the miracle and drama of the Incarnation with our choir's annual Christmas cantata. During our regular 10:00 a.m. worship service on December 15, the choir will give us a sermon in song as they share Pepper Choplin's cantata called "Night of the Father's Love." I want to invite you to come this special service and encourage you to invite others as well. Following the worship service, we'll also taste the truth of Mary's words that God "has filled the hungry with good things" (Luke 1:53). All are invited to share in a chili and soup lunch provided by our Deacons, during which we'll assemble plates of Christmas cookies to share with homebound members of our church and other friends from our community. Then we'll break into groups to deliver the cookies while singing Christmas carols. In past years this has been a truly joyful experience for all who participate, and I trust this year will be, as well. Together we'll hear the good news sung over us (Zephaniah 3:17) and then we'll show through song and deed that "the Mighty One has done great things" for us (Luke 1:49). Come and rejoice with us.
Grace and Peace,