Invitation to Sing
Can you still hear the choirs of angels? Yep, they're still singing. I know, Christmas Day has come and gone, and you have surely moved on to tackling your New Year's resolutions. Perhaps even those have begun to fade. But listen, listen carefully! The angels know that the Christmas season is still with us.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!'
Close your eyes. Perhaps you'll be able to hear them better that way. What do you see in your mind's eye? Yes, I think I see it, too: Angels beckoning us to sing with them. Oh no! Don't they know how poorly I sing? Can you carry a tune? I hope so. I'll stand next to you and keep my voice low. . .
What is the invitation and challenge of the Christmas season? The Christ Child has come. God has shown such great love for us that God's only Son has become human, in the form of a tiny, vulnerable, dependent baby. The invitation is simply this: Sing your song. Belt out a tune, or your best expression, that lets everyone know that saving grace is on its way.
Chris Muglia understands and accepts this invitation, as indicated in a few lines from his song, I Am Blest.
Here I stand unworthy to the very song I sing,
still you welcome me to join
the choirs of heaven.
I am blest just to think that I
could offer you my song,
while the angels sing along.
This invitation is a challenge for me. How do I overcome my self-consciousness to offer a voice of faith in the world around me? What is the manner in which I wear my faith on my sleeve, particularly in a season of rejoicing?
The only persons who have ever heard me sing solo are my two sons. I sing so poorly that I will never risk carrying a tune in public. But for years and years, night after night, my sons begged for yet one more song before going to sleep. They didn't know I was a lousy singer back then, and I was not embarrassed to sing to them because my love for them would override any such feelings. Each night, I felt so grateful to participate in their growth and maturity. Like the heavenly host on a starry night, as I sang to them, I envisioned them someday doing great things in the world, and so I would keep singing.
Someday has come, and as young adults, they have fulfilled my dreams in ways I could never have imagined. It's an ever so slight glimpse of what it must feel like for God to shepherd any one of us through the journey of our life.
You may be a parent, or you may not. But surely you can understand that feeling of a bursting heart that wants to break into song for the sake of another, especially a child who holds nothing but promise. This is the invitation of the Christ Child: allow your heart to burst open and be swept away with his love.
Shouldn't we all want to sing with the choirs of heaven to rejoice in the child who offers us the ultimate promise of life everlasting? It's the Christmas season! Can those around you tell by the way you live and move and act?
- Epiphany: You Can't Go Home Again by Richard Rohr
- Epiphany: Join the Adventure, by Susan Hines-Brigger
Spirit Compass reflections are developed in partnership
with the Center for Ministry Development.
- Chris Muglia
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