"And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior…'" - Luke 1:46-55
I remember my mother teaching me to sing "Silent Night." I remember my sister teaching me "O Come, All Ye Faithful." I remember how much my grandmother loved "The Little Drummer Boy," and so I love it, too.
As soon as Mary gets together with her relative Elizabeth, she starts to sing a Christmas song. We don't know where she learned it, or who taught it to her, or if Elizabeth knew it too, or if they had ever sung it together before. But I bet neither of them ever forgot that moment.
Who taught you the songs of this season? At whose knee, or on whose breast, did you first breath them in? Whose face appears before you whenever you hear them? Today, sing a carol or two for all the Elizabeths out there, the family members—whether by blood or otherwise—with whom you've given voice to the faith of this season. Sing for Jesus, of course, but sing for what we learned in him: the nurture of a fathering God, the strength of a mothering God, the delight of a wacky aunt or zany uncle God, the love of an adopting God.
If you're lucky enough to be able to do it, go find the person that taught you a song, or call him, and ask him to sing with you. If you can't reach her anymore, sing with her anyway, and praise God's holy name.
God, thank you for the family that taught my soul to magnify you. Hear me as I sing your praises with them today. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.