I never know what’s going to connect during the Sunday morning message, but I’m told a certain illustration resonated today, so I’ll share it here. I was making the point that Mary likely composed the Magnificat in her head on the 90-mile journey from Nazareth to Judea, singing it to Elizabeth upon her arrival. She had several days to think about it, and now she cuts loose.
I then offered my supposition that these tremendous words (Luke 1:46-55) likely became a lullaby sung to Jesus in utero and postpartum. If so, Jesus had sacred words ingrained in him from the very beginning of his earthly life. It’s no wonder, then, that he quotes the Psalms more than once from his cross. It’s even possible he sang those words to the extent he was able—almost like a duet across the years with his mother, who’s standing there at the horrific spectacle that is Calvary.
I then reminded the folks of the song “Unforgettable,” which Natalie Cole sang with her father, long since deceased, by way of integrated video technology. The connection between father and daughter is touching (see below), and the effect is heartwarming. But even more poignant are the six hours between Mary and her Son at the cross—with the truth of the Psalms their only comfort. Jesus sings back to her now the words she sang to him from infancy. Both their lives are bookended by the Word of God.
Anyway, my mom loved “Unforgettable,” and it made me think about her, along with a lot of other unforgettable people I’ve known throughout my life—some I still get to see and others who, sadly, are no longer part of the story. That can do interesting things to one’s emotions, so it’s kind of a mellow night here as the weekend winds down.
I’m curling up with a tall mug of hot chocolate and whipped cream, watching Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in their classic White Christmas. “If only in my dreams” is the operative phrase in the tear-jerking song that took the world by storm nearly eight decades ago. Thankfully, because of the real Christmas, all great dreams come true in the end. My emotions will catch up to this good news in time. Joy comes in the morning.
Image Credit: pbs.org.