As a little girl, the Sunday school teacher gave me a verse to recite for the Christmas program. I reportedly told her, "I'd like to sing a song." And so, it began. My relationship with music, and with the lyrics of that music, has shaped me to this day.
God gave me a big voice. I was the little girl who sang louder and sounded more mature than a listener might expect from my little body. Singing became the center of my identity and anchored my sense of value in my world. I was a vocal performance major in college, loved the stage, and later taught others to sing for 25 years.
So, in my lifetime, I have memorized countless songs.
I surrendered my heart and life to Jesus as Lord when I was twenty-two years old. I believe that before that time, the lyrics of the music I sang was the evangelist that continually invited me to come. My theology, that is, who I believe God to be—God the Father, God the Son and Savior, and God the Holy Spirit—was formed first through the lyrics of the music I sang.
Particularly at Christmastime, the lyrics that I memorized decades ago work within me again and create passion and desire to love and adore the Christ who came. The Incarnation of Jesus changes everything for everyone!
Because the liturgical calendar celebrates Christmas-tide until January 5, in my next Ruminations I'll talk about some of the precious truths I've learned from our beloved Christmas carols. Until then, may you make room in your hearts for the Christ who came. Because here's another Christmas gift to unwrap: the Christ who came continues to come! Emmanuel--God is with us!