Sing | Monday, December 10
Scripture: Zephaniah 3:16-17
“On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
St. Augustine is famously quoted as saying, “He who sings prays twice,” which is a way of expressing that music has the ability to open up emotional registers that are inaccessible to words alone. For all of the beautiful sermons and prayers that are offered at Christmas time, it’s often through music that we experience the depth of God’s great love for us. There are songs you cherish on a level that runs deeper than nostalgia—they capture your imagination, silence your fears, and awaken a sense of longing in your soul for the holy. Singing expresses the joy of the heart, which is why it finds a natural home in the way we celebrate Christmas. The tune picks us up onto our feet in worship.
Another astute theologian once declared that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear.” It turns out that the joy of the newborn King’s arrival was so great that the music of heaven interrupted the stillness of the night. Luke records the choirs of angels in order to underscore the point that God could not stay seated at Christmas—heaven’s joy was so great that its song rang out to invade the deepest corners of our hearts. The shepherds who were tending their flocks on the quiet hillside probably did not immediately grasp that they were witnessing the fulfillment of Zephaniah’s prophecy, but they knew their lives were different because of the song. You can’t separate the song from the celebration. To really know the joy of heaven at Christmas, you have to listen for God’s exultant singing over you. To allow others to experience the hope of “God with us,” you’ll need to rise to your feet.
Silence for Reflection
• What is your favorite Christmas carol? What does that song teach you about the Father’s love?
• Have you ever been sung to (or have you sang to someone)? How did that communication reach you in a way that mere words could not express?
• How does it affect you to know that in Jesus, God rejoices over you with singing?
Prayer for the Day:
Free my voice to sing, O God, that I may join with the angels in declaring your praise. Strengthen me in grace and peace —removing any unclean or uncharitable words from my lips to that others will see the joy of the Lord in me and rejoice in your goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.