I used to write poetry a lot when I was s younger. In fact, I used to frame my poems and give them as gifts. That seems a bit audacious to me now, as I am really not sure that I am that brilliant of a writer. But I guess at least they were personalized. While I am not sure that I could read just poetry for long spans of time, I do have a high level of appreciation for those who can express their thoughts in such a succinct manner. Like those who write song lyrics.
I am one of those who could never be convinced that “I only hear the music – I don’t listen to the words.” You know that saying that you used when you were a teenager and were challenged about the music that you were listening to. I can still sing along to songs I haven’t listened to in years – I maybe couldn’t quote the words, but I can definitely still sing along to the radio. I listen to a wide variety of music, but the majority of what I listen to is definitely music about Christ. While “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby definitely makes me smile, it does not move my heart the way that these six songs below do.
We have a big music collection at our house. Including Christmas music, much to my husband’s chagrin, although there are a few albums now that he will admit that he actually enjoys. I am not sure though that he likes the fact that I have my family give him the latest albums for his birthday. His November birthday just works well with the timing of that gift. J While I do have a great appreciation for the traditional carols, I thought I would share six more “recent” songs that are especially meaningful to me. Narrowing down the list was a challenge but hopefully I am able to expose you to a few songs that are unfamiliar.
Between this year and last year when I also wrote about meaningful Christmas songs, I have talked about three of Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn’s song. Must be a big fan. J I love this song because it presents a different aspect of Jesus being Immanuel – our God with us.
“You Came Down” by Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn
Oh Saviour of our fallen race,
Oh brightness of the Father’s face
Oh Son Who shared the Father’s mind
Before the world knew day or night
Oh Jesus very light of light
Our constant star in sin’s deep night
Now hear the prayers Your people pray
Throughout the world this holy day
You came down
You came down
To a stable and manger
Not a kingdom or a crown
This song is by one with a distinctive voice. While we have one of Todd Agnew’s cds, this song came from a wonderful compilation album (Absolute Favorites Christmas).
The cry of a baby shatters the silence,
Can you believe that same voice makes my heart beat?
And the tears in his eyes, and in his mother’s and father’s, are tears for all mankind.
Not even the Bethlehem dawn could compare to the light it revealed,
Not even the Bethlehem sun that unveiled the son of God sleeping in a cattle stall, the almighty God humbled to save us all,
Not even the Bethlehem dawn.
Love to listen Francesca Battistelli! Especially this song. I crank it up and sing quite loudly – amazing that He came considering all He left behind.
You’re here, I’m holding you so near
I’m staring into the face of my Savior, King and Creator
You could’ve left us on our own, but You’re here
I don’t know how long I’m gonna have you for
But I’ll be watching when You change the world
Look at your hands, they’re still so small
Someday You’re going to stretch them out and save us all
Noel, noel, God with us Emmanuel
The song “Strange Way to Save the World” by 4Him came out quite a few years ago. Every time I listen I am reminded that God’s ways are not my own. And I am glad.
I’m sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
‘Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger, he saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said
“I’m just a simple man of trade
Why him with all the rulers in the world?”
“Inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl”
Now, I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world
This is a new song that I think will soon be a favorite as I love the message that it presents. A song from Steven Curtis Chapman’s THIRD Christmas album. In the song, “I am Joseph – God with Us,” he captures the perspective of what it would have been like to be one of the “major” players in the Christmas story. The ending is very powerful.
So let’s all gather at the manger
And bring all our hopes and hurts and fears
All of our unworthiness and shame
Knowing every one of us is the reason that He came
God is with us
God is for us
This is my story and this is my song
And God is with us
And God is for us all
Finally, a song from one of our family’s favorite Christmas albums, Toby Mac’s “Christmas in Diverse City.” This is the song that my older boys almost have memorized – they like it that much. When I took a good look at the lyrics, this song is definitely one for me right now. All about living in the now – something this mama struggles with at times.
The laughter starts before the sunrise
I sneak downstairs at the sparklin’ lights
And oh what joy it brings to me
Our family around our Christmas tree
And I thank the Lord for His favor
As we sing the songs of the Savior
It’s all love
The season is a gift
When love came down to let us live
Let’s open up and let our hearts embrace this moment
My seven songs that I featured last year …
“Rest” by Steve Green”
“Immanuel” by Michael Card
“Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant
“Lamb of God” by Nicole C. Mullen
“Christmas is Jesus” by Bryan Duncan
“Labor of Love” by Jill Phillips (on “Behold, the Lamb of God”)
“I Will Find a Way” by Andy Gullahorn
A complete baker’s dozen to ring in Christ’s birth the meaningful way. Enjoy!