I don’t think I have to tell you that the Christmas season is busy and I don’t think I have to tell you that it’s easy for materialism to creep in if we’re not careful. Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, but if I don’t take an offensive position, I can very easily miss all the opportunities to worship Jesus. For me, the offensive position is usually a combination of looking more closely into the birth story, a daily advent calendar and advent readings, Christmas events with my church, and music… yes, music. Each year, carefully selected Christmas music does a great deal to set my heart and mind upon the glorious wonder of the nativity. Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God and Shane and Shane’s Glory in the Highest have been particularly important in this way. This year a new album has come onto the scene that is helping me to worship amidst the hustle and bustle: Jason Gray’s Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding. Here are a few reasons why you should download this album today and let it help you delight in Christ over the next two weeks.
- Most of the songs on the album are ones he’s written – I don’t know about you, but because I’ve heard so many of the Christmas songs a gazillion times, it’s hard for me to cut through the familiarity and let them impact me afresh. With new songs, I am more likely to listen closely to the words, which, when the songs are about Jesus, helps me set my mind “on the things that are above” (Colossians 3:2).
- The songs are stories – Stories are captivating. They draw you in and keep you there because you’re afraid you’ll miss something important as it unfolds. This makes the truth in these songs harder to miss. Many of these stories are told from the perspectives of the different people surrounding the birth of Christ: the Innkeeper, the Shepherds, the Wise men, and Joseph. They reveal the impact of Christ’s birth for each person (or, in the case of the Innkeeper, what should be the impact of Christ’s birth).
- The music is excellent – Jason Gray makes it easy to listen to these stories because the music used to tell these stories reflects the beauty of the Savior of whom they are sung. It’s pop rock done well for those of you who like categories.
Here’s one of my favorite songs – The Song of the Innkeeper. Don’t miss the double meaning.