by Graham Mol
Every December I like to find a Christmas album to put on repeat. There is usually some new release from Christian artists around this time of year and often one can find some real gems. Last year my favourite album was Heaven Has Come which I wrote about in my blog: Music for Christmas 2020
This year instead of picking something newly released I went to find an album I’d heard about but had missed at the time, Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. The original was first released in 2004 and now has been re-recorded in 2019.
The album presents a unique telling of the Christmas story through songs revealing the birth of Christ as it is foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament and brought to bear in the New Testament. I really love this as it helps convey the sense of anticipation that God’s people had as they awaited God’s promised Messiah.
The Christmas Nativity is not an isolated or separate story but part of the grand narrative of Scripture. The familiar tale of Christ’s birth becomes so much richer in meaning and significance when we see the bigger picture.
So I’d encourage you to have a listen to the album, and if possible listen to the whole thing in one go so that you get the sense of the story being told. Some of the songs stand out in particular. The moving “Deliver Us” conveys the heart cry of God’s people to be set free from slavery in Egypt which then is linked to our cry to being set free from slavery to sin.
The song “Labour of Love” paints an honest picture of the night of Christ’s birth, how difficult it must have been for Mary and Joseph to bring a child into the world all by themselves, in a dirty stable. And yet they were sustained by God’s grace.
There is also a song about Jesus’ genealogy. Yes, that’s right! I don’t think there’s even been a Christmas carol based purely on who begat who, but with the folksy country feel, Peterson pulls it off.
Here is a link to a playlist of the songs on Youtube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL42LOQVutXirhRQU2JiMSWdn8ZfMzsTmV
Or you can find the song on your favourite streaming platform. Alternatively you can find the CD at a local CUM Books if you still like to enjoy your music “old school”!