Monday, December 17, 2018

Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. Psalm 47:6

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A friend of mine looks forward to his late November birthday each year. There’s little excitement about becoming one year older; rather, his birthdate is his “official” start of enjoying favorite Christmas songs. He customizes his playlist and anticipates the beginning of the holiday season. Music is an essential part of his Advent experience.

Singing and musical celebration are vital to our Christian faith. The Old Testament tells us to “Sing praises to our King”—everyone, not just choir members or paid staff. We share our love of music. It energizes us, pulls at our emotions and allows us to appreciate the glorious songs of the season. We participate in congregational singing and impromptu sing-alongs with our favorite recordings. What would Christmas be without music?

Our caroling photograph reflects many of the season’s values. We join as a community, sharing time and voices, giving of ourselves to bring joy to others and allowing our love of the Baby to shine through. There is no expectation of great praise or a recording contract—just a chance to celebrate with all ages and abilities present. It is the heart of the Christmas spirit.

I invite you to take some time this month to notice your special musical experiences. Is it a setting that speaks to you or perhaps hearing familiar words sung in a different arrangement? Listen carefully to the lyrics of a new song that appeals to you. Watch children as they enthusiastically sing a traditional carol. God gave us so much when he bestowed the treasure of music—“Sing Praises”—each and every one!

Patsy Hallett