The mere title of this blog made some of you grind your teeth because the unending stream of Christmas songs has become like the incessant drip… drip… drip of a leaky faucet.
But others of you are reading with curiosity to see if I’m right. In other words, to see if my opinion agrees with yours. Fasten your seatbelt because it probably won’t. But perhaps your opinion will change by the time I’m done.
Rest assured I did not consult any recent surveys or sales records or top ten lists. My pick for best Christmas song ever comes from a little Jewish girl probably no more than 14 or 15 years old and is recorded in chapter one of Luke’s Gospel.
Mary has been visited by an angel who announces that she has found favor with God and will bear a son who she is to name Jesus. The angel also mentions that her relative Elizabeth is already six months pregnant though she was barren – because nothing is impossible with God.
Upon arriving at Elizabeth’s home and hearing Elizabeth – “filled with the Holy Spirit” – proclaim what is about to happen to her – even though she had not heard it from Mary – Mary is so awestruck that she bursts forth in praise.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” ~ Luke 1:46b-47
It’s called the Magnificat because in Latin the first phrase means “magnify my soul, magnify the Lord.” We know what it means to magnify. To enlarge, to focus attention on, to make bigger. But what does it look like when a “soul praises” or a “spirit rejoices?”
This kind of thing happens when a wedding proposal is made or a new child is born, when we share special moments with loved ones or the doctor’s report is good news. Every fiber of our being is focused on celebrating what is happening in that moment.
If Christmas really is all about Jesus then surely the greatest Christmas song ever is the one that magnifies our Lord!
Does this kind of celebration – praise from the core of our being – describe how you worship God on a regular basis or how you are approaching this Christmas season?