Learn: Read Luke 1:39-55. You might think that’s a trick question, and maybe it is, but the first person who wrote Christmas carols for us is Luke! Leland Ryken says the first Christmas carols are found in the first two chapters of Luke. For the next four Sundays we will be focusing on what Ryken calls the Songs for the Savior.
Why are songs, music, instruments, and singing such an integral part of Scripture, our relationship with God, and the life of the church? We have one whole book (the Psalms) dedicated to music, plus many other instances of songs and singing in Scripture. One of the chief indicators of the approach of Christmas is when we hear Christmas music. Luke highlights the first Christmas with singing.
Leland Ryken wrote that these biblical Christmas carols “appear only in Luke, which makes him the church’s first hymnologist. Luke included these lyrics because he understood that the gospel is and must be a musical. What God has done in Christ demands to be praised. It is not enough simply to say what God has done to save us-what he has done needs to be celebrated in song.”
The “song” for this coming Sunday is found in Luke 1:39-55. Mary sings this wonderful song when she visits her relative Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. Take some time this week to read through this passage and think about this time of worship that Mary and Elizabeth had together, rejoicing in the great blessing God had given each of them.
Apply: Think about how your favorite Christmas carols help you to worship God. Listen to some of them this week and spend some time in worship.