Breaking News Bar

Pastor Otten: The Quempas Carol invites us to sing with Mary

By Pastor David Otten
Faith Lutheran Church, Eldorado
updated: 12/22/2017 3:10 PM

Greetings from Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado,

The Quempas Carol is quite long, and my plan was never to cover the entire carol. The last verse I wish to share with you is stanza four, which along with the chorus reads:

"Sing with Mary, virgin mother; Praise her Son, our newborn brother;

Angel ranks, lead one another, Hailing him in holy joy!

God's own Son is born a child;

God the Father is reconciled!"

As Christmas falls on Monday, that makes Sunday Christmas Eve, but it is also the fourth Sunday in the Advent season. This is when the fourth Advent candle would be lit and the final Sunday of preparation for the celebration of Christmas will occur.

The Gospel reading for this Sunday has traditionally dealt with Mary and the angel, Gabriel, announcing to her that she will be the mother of Christ. For some, the last candle in the Advent wreath has come to symbolize the Virgin Mary. This fourth stanza of the Quempas Carol reminds us of the virgin birth and of Mary who is blessed among all women. For no other woman was chosen to be the mother of our Lord.

The first words of this verse is an exhortation to sing with Mary her "Magnificat." This ancient song has through Christian history been spoken, chanted and put to music.

The Magnificat is Mary's personal expression of praise to God and proclamation of His gracious work to her and to all God's people. The Magnificat is more than a repetitious praise song, for it echoes Hannah's song and gives us a picture of God who acts within history, particularly the history of Israel.

Mary does not divorce herself from who she is, a Jew, and one in a line of women to whom God has been gracious by giving them a gift of a child when all reason proclaimed it impossible. Yet never has God chosen a virgin to give birth and for the child to be the Son of God. Mary is not expressing a new religion, but the fulfillment of her religion, heritage and the holy writings sacred to the children of Abraham.

The Quempas does not keep the worshiper at a distance from Mary or Jesus. It has already invited us to sing with Mary and now speaks of her Son, not in royal titles, but as family -- "our newborn brother."

Christ is approachable even though He is God's own Son.

Christ conceals his majesty and humbles himself. He becomes flesh and blood, able to suffer and die, yet holds every atom of the universe together. The incarnation may defy our reason, but through it proclaims God's love and eternal commitment to us that we may be His sons and daughters. This is why the angels hail him, for not since creation has God so amazed them.

Therefore, we sing with Mary and praise her Son proclaiming Him the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Otten

Search Carbondale Times