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We went singing last night. Well, Christmas caroling. It is one of my favorite ‘traditions’ my church does each Christmas season. Carloads of us go from one house to another, ringing sleigh bells and singing with great exultation. Thanks be to God for our stellar choir director and members who help drown out folks like me. It is usually cold, but the warmth we bring to those we sing to and to one another is worth it.

Last night I was asked, “What was your favorite part about caroling tonight?” I was between meatball bites, and I had some time to think about it. Finally, it came to me. The singing.

So profound, right?

I mean the singing of those we visit. When they start singing it is as if they are gifting us, or at least me, with the Christmas spirit. Suddenly I am the recipient of joy. Still, I mean something else.

Two different times last night, people who live on the ‘memory units’ of nursing homes started singing with us. It moved me. It always does—just like when I pray with folks who have memory loss but they will join me in the Lord’s Prayer, or “Jesus Loves Me.” Like soil science, when it comes to medicine and psychology, I am no expert. What I can comment on is what I see and feel—and what I saw last night and felt the remainder of the evening—was a deep sense of comfort, peace, and love. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but in the singing, the Love we are preparing for came forth. Glazed over eyes quickly had a sparkle, a hint of childlike faith, return to them even if but for only a moment.

Singing. I’m not very good at it. But it isn’t about being good, or knowing if you're a soprano or alto (though I'm told that helps). It is about expressing our gratitude for how God brings us back home to one another and to God’s self. It is about singing and rejoicing about the ways in which God saved us, saves us, and will continue to save us. Last night, God did it through... Singing.

Take time and do some singing friends. Sing with the radio; Sing with your kiddos or grandkids, or sing by yourself. Either way, sing and give thanks for the gifts God has given to you.

Adam Quinn, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln


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