Sunday, December 14

The First Christmas Carol

What is one of the best elements about Christmas, aside from the obvious of Jesus’ birth? The presents? The tree? The food? Nope! For me, it’s the music!

I love all the Christmas music. So many wonderful carols have been written over the years. Do you know which one is truly the original?

It’s the Song of Mary, which is called the Magnificat and it is found in Luke 1:46-55.

Mary’s song starts out with these beautiful words in verse 46, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

I don’t think we fully understand what magnifying the Lord means. The Old and New Testament words mean essentially the same: to grow, to make great, powerful, or important, promote, praise, increase or enlarge, esteem highly, lift up, exalt, extol, and so on.

The English dictionaries define ‘magnify’ as to increase in actual size, enlarge, exaggerate, amplify, intensify, to extol, praise, glorify, to make seem more important, and so on.

Did you catch those last three? Praise, glorify, to make seem more important.

As the result of our praising God, we enlarge His image and His power, intensifying them more than our circumstances. The disciple John said it most succinctly, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 NKJV)

I know there are things you praise God for - your family, your friends, your home, your job, but do you thank Him for the things you have that millions of people around the world do not have? Like your haircut, your toothpaste, your nice, hot shower, your mattress, your shoes, your make-up, your razor, your TV (which is questionable!), your car, your cell phone, your computer, your dishes, your washer and dryer, your dishwasher, your refrigerator or even the little bit of food you may have in it?

We are so much more fortunate and blessed than two-thirds of the world, and yet, we whine when our new shoes pinch our feet!

Paul commanded the Ephesians to sing spiritual songs and to make music to the Lord in their hearts. He knew how to do that despite his circumstances.

When the stream of joy dries up and disappears, do as Paul told the Philippians to do as he wrote from a Roman jail, saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4b NKJV)

The one rejoicing unlocks the dam built by negative thoughts, words, and circumstances. He waters that dry, rock-bed stream and joy flows once again, for he “will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (John 7:38b Phillips)

The impetus for regaining that joy is not triggered by material things given to the flesh but by praise given from the heart.

The hosts of heaven, praising God, ushered in the birth of Christ, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV) If Christ lives within you as your Saviour, do you sing of His glory as Mary did? Do you sing praises to magnify His presence as the angels did? What kind of music does your life make to the Lord?

Being thankful is easy when everything is hunky-dunky, but the praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, which presses on despite sickness or loss, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet. This is the sweetest praise of all, for it is based on the love of the Lord.

Sing any tune, make up any words, but sing to your Beloved. Sing the praises of the One Who deserves them. It will make a difference in your attitude and in your circumstances.

I know many are having great difficulties this season, but do your best to sing along with Mary and me. May the Lord bless you immensely as you sing the first Christmas carol…

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~
20 Responses
  1. Unknown Says:

    "The praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, which presses on despite sickness or loss, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet".

    Praises to His name! What wonderful words Lynn. I think I will go cry now...

  2. Billy Coffey Says:

    Beautiful, uplifting words, Lynn. This one is getting printed out and put on the fridge.

  3. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Lorrie, thank you. I'm so humbled that it touches you so. May the Lord bless you with His presence in a special way this Christmas.

  4. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, wow! Thanks, Billy! It is so honoring that the Lord uses my words of obedience to glorify Himself and to touch others. May the Lord bring you special blessings this Christmas.

  5. The Magnificat is so beautiful, and we can always be grateful for Mary's faith and obedience, which resulted in the birth of our blessed Savior! There are many versions of the Magnificat by various composers, and I always enjoying hearing it, or reading it in the Bible. Thank you for sharing this, Lynn!

  6. Tanya Says:

    GREAT thoughts! Thank you.

    On another note, I'm laughing at your use of the phrase "hunky-dunky." Too cute. We always said "hunky-dory", in fact I sing it in a song to my kids about Noah. Anyway, thanks for the encouraging thoughts, the spur toward thankfulness and praise, and the smile. :)

  7. Walk Says:

    And here I thought Carol Lombard was "The First Christmas Carol". That whole Mary/Elizabeth passage is cool. My favorite part is when John leaped in Elizabeth's womb.

  8. Unknown Says:

    Thank you for this great illustration and reminder. And yes, let me run along witn Lorrie, tears of gratefulness falling as I ponder what Jesus really did for me.

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    You are such a dear, Lorrie. I am so humbled that my words have touched you so. Blessings to you...

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Billy! What joy you bring my heart! Blessings to you...

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, Connie, for your support and wonderful comment. May the Lord bless you...

  12. lynnmosher Says:

    Ha! Love hunky-dunky! Comes from Christmas in Connecticut, one of my favorite Christmas movies. Thanks for commenting. Be blessed...

  13. lynnmosher Says:

    Terry, You are such a hoot! Too funny! Thank you, my friend, for reading and commenting as always. And you're right...that is my favorite part also! Blessings to you...

  14. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Pam! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment. Your words are so precious and appreciated. Blessings to you...

  15. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Interesting. I hadn't though of the Magnificat as a carol, but it's a neat idea.

  16. "For I have learned to be satisfied with what I have"
    That schripture from Philipps 4:11 comes to mind when reading your post. Our joy is not stuff-related, it is a treasure of the heart.
    Love your words of wisdom Lynn, thanks for spreading your light!

  17. lynnmosher Says:

    Sheila, Thanks so much for taking time to read this and leave a comment. I so appreciate it. Bless you...

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, sweet Marja! You are so right. Thank you! You make my heart happy! Blessings to you...

  19. Katherine Says:

    Ok, I totally was the first to comment on this when you posted on it a few days ago...or so I thought ;)

    I will try to recall what I said...but, pretty much the essence was that this was such an awesome and well written post-it spoke to my heart and out of what I feel in my heart. I might have to borrow it ;)

    I am with you-I love Christmas music, well pretty much all music!! It speaks to my soul like not much else can. It is incredible that we can use the voices and talents God has given us to lift up praises to Him and for His honor and glory.

    Have you heard the ZOE group's version of "Magnificat"? It is a 4 part a cappella absolutely BEAUTIFUL version that stirs my soul, and I love this song. You can find it here:

    I have also learned to not only be thankful for the bigger things, but for the smaller (at least to us) things in life that we so often take for granted-but some would die for. We are so blessed, and the more I realize that, the more thankful I am-even in the midst of frustration. Perspective really is everything!

    Thank you again for this awesome post, and may you be blessed beyond measure! :)

    IN HIM, Katherine

  20. Amen!! I will rejoice in the Lord always..His praises will constantly be on my mouth. No matter what I will praise the Lord!!

    Great posting..I don't know I personally would have gotten through my hard times if I had not learned to praise Him in the middle of the storms. No matter I know that He is in control at all times so I praise Him inspite of the trials.

    Thanks..for sharing this it is truly an annointed Word.