Do you enjoy going to a carol service at this time of year?
Or perhaps you usually lead or perform in one?
I usually do.
Ever since I was very young, I have loved singing carols.
Initially it was at church – the sound of those words rising into the air on the swells of the music, has always stirred my heart and lifted my spirit in awe and wonder and joy.
At school I was always involved in the carol concerts, usually singing, sometimes playing an instrument and sometimes reading a passage of scripture.
One year I danced, performing the journey of Anna – the old woman at the temple who sees Jesus come in as a newborn baby.
That sense of occasion and promise, the waiting and expectation in the final week before the Christmas holidays, was always a wonderful experience. I would leave school with hope high in my heart, ready to meet the infant Jesus come Christmas morning.
Later as an adult, I would usually be involved in the performing or running of a carol concert or service, usually for a church, and my sense of build-up to Christmas would feel very strange, without being engaged in collectively singing carols in some way.
However, this year of 2020 has put a stop to the physical attendance of these in many places – at least for the majority of people – but that doesn’t mean that carols won’t be sung.
Thankfully, singing those beautifully crafted words, rich in awe-inspiring truths – about the God who loved us so much he became one of us, vulnerable like us, and grew to bring us freedom for all who’ll receive it – can still be a reality.Tweet
Sing some with your family.
There is nothing more freeing, once you get started, than lifting you voice – tuneful or otherwise – and singing out words of beauty and truth with your whole heart. Especially in the company of others.
It doesn’t have to be awkward and it doesn’t need to be A Capella, you can utilise the many pre-recorded carols from choirs to solo artists to folk musicians, and simply add your voice to theirs!
This can happen in the kitchen as you get the dinner ready, post Sunday-lunch, as you are driving to school or work in the morning – the key is to sing and get over any self-consciousness, which usually dissipates quickly when we stop thinking of ourselves doing the singing, and instead focus on the songs themselves.
How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given, so God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.Tweet
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him still the dear Christ enters in.
So put on a favourite selection of carols and alongside your kids and spouse, sing those beautiful verses of truth, wonder and praise.
Let them stir your heart, lift your spirits and turn your eyes to the one they have all been written about!