A New Song
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Feliz Navidad. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
These songs fill my house (and car and what should be peaceful walks around the block) in the weeks leading to Christmas. I pray that your children never ask for the Kidzbop Christmas station to play on repeat--help me baby Jesus for it is BAD.
Before you accuse me of being bah humbug, I actually LOVE Christmas music--give me Mariah Carey belting “All I want for Christmas is YOU” early and often. From Oh Holy Night to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree to Silver Bells to the N*Sync classic Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays--I’m all in.
But if I have to hear a ten year old sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (WTH Kidzbop??) one more time I may throw my phone out in the cold.
From sparkly lights to pot-bellied Santas, live nativities to holiday train rides, gingerbread baking to mistletoe--I’m all in.
Perhaps as a follower of Jesus I should be more bah humbug about all the trimmings of the season that have nothing to do with his birth. And while so much can be commercialized (which is antithetical to his birth) there is so much that brings us joy, which our world needs. Who am I to take away Justin Timberlake belting “Merry Christmas from above, God sends you his love?”--the world is a better place for it, in my humble, 90s-kid opinion.
BUT (of course there’s a but, there always is with Jesus)....there is an original song of the season and its one I pray, read, and even dare to sing early and often. When Mary the mother of Jesus learns that SHE is carrying the Messiah, she opens her mouth and sings a new song: one of joy, wonder, and radical transformation of the world. A world in which God chooses an unwed teenage mother living in poverty as the very bearer of hope.
As Jesus is born and grows up and lives among us, a new world, a new song, come to life: the script is flipped and those without power and privilege and status are lifted up while those with greed and wealth are brought low. THIS is the ultimate song of Christmas--as much as I advocate singing the other carols, my hope and prayer for each of us is that we sing this one the loudest:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for God has looked with favour on the lowliness of God’s servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is God’s name.
God’s mercy is for those who fear God
from generation to generation.
God has shown strength with God’s arm;
God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
God has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.