Hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner. Today, we had the mother of all shopping days, “Black Friday.” (Does anybody know why they call it that? Doesn’t sound good for business, to me) Many of us have begun decorating our homes for the season. Shoot, even the weather is “beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.” So, in the spirit of the season, I thought I would make a little listening suggestion for you all.
If you like music, and you want a great Christmas album, go pick up a copy of “Behold the Lamb of God.” Those of you that know me well have heard this before, but this is by far the best Christmas CD out there. Why? I’m so glad you asked.
This album tells the story of Jesus, but it doesn’t begin in the stable in Bethlehem. Andrew Peterson takes us all the way back to the Old Testament. He begins the “True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ” with “Passover Us”, the story of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, for that is where Christmas really begins. With the Passover in Egypt we get a picture of the Messiah Who is to come and ransom Israel, and all the world, from our sins.
The album then carries us through the years of the prophets, and the promise of a Savior found in Isaiah 53 in “So Long, Moses” (probably my favorite track on the album) and “Deliver Us.” These songs picture so perfectly the sorrow and hope involved in waiting for Jesus.
One of the coolest songs on the album is “Matthew’s Begats,” that familiar Scripture passage that everybody hates to read. Well, let me just say, after hearing it set to song, you’ll never forget the lineage of the Savior. And that lineage just might shock you, if you’ve never paid attention. In it, you’ll find that Jesus’ ancestors included a harlot, a Gentile, and some pretty terrible kings. Not the family history that a made-up religion would tend to include. I digress…There is also a really cool kids book that takes you through the lyrics to the song, and includes a sing-a-long CD. You can find it here.
The story goes on through the birth of our Lord in “Labor of Love”, an absolutely beautiful telling of that night in Bethlehem that begins “It was not a silent night, there was blood on the ground.” How many Christmas carol’s give you that picture? Yet it wasn’t a silent night, was it? It wasn’t the postcard we all think of. It was cold and dank, and the God of all creation came into this world in a stable, not a palace. Tis good to remember that, no?
The album then goes into praise with “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”, a new twist on an old hymn that will have you singing “Hallelujah!” with the angels!
The story ends with “Behold the Lamb of God,” which reminds us that the Baby in the manger came to die for the sins of the world, to fulfill the picture we heard in the first song, “Passover Us.” Christmas is pointless unless it points us to Easter.
Actually, it doesn’t end there, for there is an unbelievable ending to the album called “The Theme of My Song” that blew me away the first time I heard it. It reprises the whole album in layer upon layer in the song. The perfect ending to a perfect album.
I don’t push many things on this site, besides my wife’s and sister-in-law’s business, but I’m pimping this album. You can download it here. Andrew Peterson, the writer of the album, is a husband and father that supports his family by his music. Anything you buy on his site goes directly to him, which is a very cool thing. Do yourself a favor: buy this album. Trust me, you won’t regret it.