A Reflection on an Old Song

Have you ever noticed how many songs are in the Christmas story? There’s Zachariah’s song of praise, Mary’s Magnificent, and the most familiar song of the angels, “Glory to God in the Highest!” Have you also noticed the many times Scripture references Mary’s contemplative spirit. Read the gospel of Luke’s first two chapters and you will see what I mean.

The other day, I was listening to my favorite Christmas song, the Wexford Carol. As always, I enjoy the simple Irish tune, but I concentrated on the words a little more:

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son.
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.

Upon my own meditations, I began to make a significant connection to singing, contemplation, and the Christmas story. Most of the songs in the Christmas story are praises to God for his Gift of Love. Our spiritual state does not warrant such a Gift, but God nevertheless offers us redemption and atonement. Such an action is quite a mystery, is it not? Why would God be so compelled to save a rebellious people? It is a mystery that we consider while we give our humble praise conjunctively.

Further, this particular carol invites us to be like Mary, this lowly, obedient girl, and ponder another mystery, the Incarnation of Christ. How many questions Mary must have had, but she willingly followed her Lord’s word and now “many generations can call [her] blessed.” Yet, Scripture never indicates that Mary received an answer for her mediations. I assume that she has been graciously illuminated, but the point of her story is that she mediated and obeyed. I should, like her, ponder the magnitude of her Son’s birth, life, and passion while following boldly and faithfully to his will.

Therefore, let us consider the Christ-child this season. Let us shout with the angels of God’s glorious work among his people. Let us consider, with the humble Virgin, the nature and mystery of our Lord’s redemptive plan. Let us remember his humility to take the very form of a child to save his people from their sins and give them a King that they can serve and worship forever!

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Posted on December 18, 2013, in Christianity, Christmas, Holidays, Meditations, Stephen Parish, Theology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The Wexford carol is my favorite, as well! The Irish know good music.

    • Agreed! And I think this song is doing of me what carols and hymns are to do for all of us during worship: drawing us intellectually (with the words) and emotionally (with the music) into closer communion with God and our neighbor.

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