Thursday, December 8, 2016

Music of Advent - Tell Out My Soul

Week 2, Thursday—Luke 46b-55
Tell Out My Soul  by Timothy Dudley-Smith, 1961

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of  God’s Word;
In God, my Savior, shall my heart rejoice.

I cannot tell how many times I have extolled the greatness of God. I’m also ashamed to say I cannot tell how many times I have whined to God about the circumstances in my life.  I would suspect we all do that.  Praises when we are happy; complaints when we are not. 

Yet, here is Mary singing the greatness of God.  In this hymn I imagine her singing at the top of her lungs—much like Julie Andrews singing “...the hills are alive….with the sound of music.”  Only Mary sings, “My soul magnifies the Lord...and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”  Oh, what would it be like for us to sing God’s praise with such reckless abandon, regardless of our circumstances. 

One time at a youth summer camp we were all gathered in the tabernacle with the camp band playing and the whole building was singing at the top of our lungs.  One young preacher that was working the camp also, came up beside me and with a big, beautiful grin on his face said, “I imagine this is what heaven will be like.”  I had to agree.  Singing praise with reckless abandon. 

This is a long way from some of the more uptight ways we worship.  I’m not talking about worship style, I’m talking about the spirit of the worship service.  Are we worshiping God? Or are we more concerned with the social aspect of a congregation?  I find that those who are worried about what others think tend to not worship with that uninhibited spirit that I believe Mary showed. 

This time of year we look at welcoming the child Jesus; God in human flesh.  This God living among humanity gives us cause to sing and praise and celebrate with wild joy the coming of the Lord.  Our souls cry out about how great our God is and we rejoice.  Let us celebrate the season only concerned with praising God, and not worry about what others think. 

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
   and holy is his name. 
Luke 1:46-49

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