We left feeling better than we had felt in a while – actually almost giddy with musical notes playing over in our minds and warming our hearts. We had been singing Christmas carols with good friends. One sang the traditional command performance solo, another challenged us with a new duet, and most of us hit wrong notes as we sang and laughed and loved each other.
The next day I still felt better. Energized. I smiled and remembered and worked through the day with those songs playing again in my head and my heart.
What is it about singing that makes us feel so good? Victor Hugo said,” Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”All the pent up things we can never say, we can belt out in a song.
There are benefits of singing. Singing releases the feel-good brain chemicals and pain-relieving endorphins; singing helps us breathe better because we improve our posture and our lung capacity increases; singing improves our mental alertness and tones our muscles; singing increases our confidence.
As my Advent journey continues, I imagine when Mary first heard from the angel she needed a very large dose of confidence. Her visit to her cousin Elizabeth encourages her. Mary is strengthened in her faith, recognizing that she will play a part in the change of human history. Overwhelmed, what does she do? She breaks out in song:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has
regarded the low estate of his handmaiden
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the
imagination of their hearts,
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the empty with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke
to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.”
How does our soul magnify God? No one can hear our soul sing- only God. But if our soul is busting with joy at the news of Jesus this Christmas, it will be impossible, like Hugo say, to be silent about it.
Creator of my soul, fill me with such wonder of you that I cannot keep silent. Let me break out in song!