Luke 1:46-55

Musical theater has a rule about when to include songs in the plot. When a situation becomes too emotional for characters to simply talk about, they sing. When their emotions become too intense to just sing about, they dance.

“Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast is my favorite example of this. The enchanted candlestick Lumiere offers Belle an elaborate dinner, growing so excited about serving after years of isolation that he starts to sing. Others join in, leading to a massive dance number with prancing cutlery and a line of feather dusters doing the cancan. 

After her cousin affirms her child’s identity and calls Mary blessed (vv. 42, 45), just as the angel called her “favored one”
(v. 28), Mary breaks into song. When Elizabeth shares that even the child in her womb leapt for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice (v. 44), Mary’s heart is too full to simply talk. She seems to compose this song of praise on the spot, drawing on language from psalmists and prophets to express her ecstatic joy. The song may have been an existing hymn Luke wanted to preserve and gave to Mary as a way to share her full emotions with us. Careful composing doesn’t lessen its spontaneous impact when we encounter it. 

The same is true for other creative expressions of worship, such as prayers, sermons, flower displays, or altar cloths. They are no less sincere for having been prepared ahead of time. And those contributions to worship that often go unnoticed—the folded bulletins, the welcome of guests, the testimony of a beloved cousin—have an honored part in the magnificent worship of God.


When has someone’s creative expression moved you to awe or worship? Thank God for this creative work and the emotions it sparked within you.


My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name (vv. 46-47, 49).

Source link