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Christmas Musical 

Luke 1:42-42

Luke's Christmas story contains five songs-a Christmas musical if you will, perhaps not like the one we just listened to, but one that contains a scarlet thread that communicates the meaning of Christmas. The songs have different composers, and were written at different times, but have one meaning. Three songs were written before the birth of Jesus and two afterward. Three out of the five songs were composed by people in the later years of their lives, one by the angels and one by a teenage girl. But when they are read together, a central theme does emerge-certainly a theme that deserves our attention during this sacred season.

Members of one extended family wrote the first three songs, Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary. Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah were getting old and rickety. Zechariah was tending to his work at the temple when the angel Gabriel suddenly appeared before him with news that Elizabeth was pregnant. Zechariah didn't believe the angel so God took the ability to speak from him.

When she was six-months pregnant, Mary came to visit Elizabeth. Mary was pregnant too, but not married. If you agree that the aged Elizabeth's pregnancy was a miracle, you will also agree that the Virgin Mary's pregnancy was a super-miracle. 

Elizabeth, showing great emotional maturity, didn't talk about her baby, instead, she immediately rejoiced with Mary and when she did, she provides us with the first of the Christmas songs in Luke. "And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, 'Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! [43] And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44] For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. [45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.'" Luke 1:42-45 (NASB) 

Mary responded with the second Christmas Song in Luke 1:46-55. "And Mary said: 'My soul exalts the Lord, [47] And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. [48] For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. [49] For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. [50] And His mercy is UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION Toward those who fear Him. [51] He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. [52] He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. [53] He has filled the hungry with good things; And sent away the rich empty-handed. [54] He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, [55] As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his offspring forever.'"(NASB)

Zachariah authored the third song months later after God restored his voice shortly after the birth of his son. Look in Luke 1:67-79. "And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: [68] 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, [69] And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant-- [70] As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old-- [71] Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; [72] To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, [73] The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, [74] To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, [75] In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. [76] And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to PREPARE His ways; [77] To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, [78] Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, [79] To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.'" (NASB)

What impresses me most about these first three songs is the selfless tone the authors set. Great things were happening to each of these people, yet what God was doing for the world overshadowed any thought of what God was doing through them.

The last two of the five Christmas songs came after the birth of Jesus. The Angels' song was short and sweet. "And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'" Luke 2:13-14 (NASB) 

And an old man composed the last song. A spiritual man who'd immersed himself in scripture and followed God's will, and as promised, he got to see God's salvation before he died. Here's Simeon's song. "Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart In peace, according to Thy word; [30] For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, [31] Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32] A light OF REVELATION TO THE Gentiles, And the glory of Thy people Israel." (Luke 2:29-32 NASB) 

The theme of all these songs is the same-the good news of salvation made possible because of God's love. Jesus was born because of God's love, not to add an exclamation point to mere words, "I love you." His birth began a chain of events that would culminate in His death, burial and resurrection and make salvation possible. A salvation that is possible to you today. And that is the magic of this season. The theme of these ancient songs continues even today. Today, you too can experience God's salvation, the scarlet thread of these Christmas Songs.

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