Christmas Eve unfolded like clockwork when I was growing up. At six o’clock on the dot, family began to arrive at our small apartment until it was bursting at the seams with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Each brought their most delicious specialty to add to the festive table: Aunt Flossie’s Swedish meatballs, Aunt Gladys’ sticky wings, Mom’s potato salad. If anyone had diverted from the much beloved menu, surely there would have been weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Later, we exchanged gifts before making our way to church for the Christmas Eve service. But in between dinner and opening presents, Uncle Ray always made his way to the piano. Children, young and old, gathered around him and joyfully sang one carol after another.
This was always a holy moment of Christmas for me: my family, drawn together by song. No matter what squabbles had befallen us over the course of the year, no matter what illnesses or challenges had occurred in the months before, our singing brought unity, joy, and strength. Even in later years as Uncle Ray’s memory began to fail, the piano was still a place where he was able to find himself and draw us closer to one another.
In that small dining room around the piano, there was order and rightness in the world. On this Christmas morning, let us gather around the piano of hope and, with unity, joy, and strength, sing God’s praises together.
O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised… (vv.1-4a)
What song can you offer to God on this Christmas Day?
God, may we sing in exultation on this day of Jesus’ birth. Amen.