I want to take the next few posts to recommend some songs/CD’s that I think are worth hearing/singing during this season of focus on the Incarnation of our Savior.
Andrew Peterson is a gifted songwriter and lyricist who has put out a number of CD’s. Last year, he released “Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ.” The subtitle refers to the Gospel, the Great Story “that is bigger than life, but is astoundingly true.”
The CD is filled with creatively written, skillfully performed songs that focus on our need for and God’s provision of a sacrifical Lamb. Most of them are presentational songs, but some could be used congregationally. Here are some of my favorites:
Deliver Us: Israel’s lament that captivity to sin is greater than their captivity in Eqypt ever was.
From vs. 2:
“Our sins they are more numerous
Than all the lambs we slay
Our shackles they were made with our own hands”
Labor of Love – This song poignantly commends Mary, the young woman who humbly responded “yes” when asked to bear the Messiah who would be slain for the sins of the world. From vs. 1:
“It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyway that night
On the streets of David’s town”
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks – A new treatment of the traditional hymn that adds a jubilant chorus.
Behold the Lamb of God – A beautiful ballad that reflects on the purpose of the Incarnation – God’s provision of a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.
“Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Behold the Lamb of God
The life and light of men
Behold the Lamb of God
Who died and rose again
Behold the Lamb of God who comes
To take away our sin”
The CD is made even more appealing by the beautiful artwork and instrumental work throughout.
My only question about the lyrics comes in the first song when Peterson writes of Jesus, “He gave up his pride and He came here to die like a man.” I’m not sure how pride can be taken in anything but a negative sense. But, apart from that one instance, the CD is filled with biblical, artfully crafted lyrics that inspire faith in the Savior of the world.
Really good recommendation, Bob. This is probably my favorite CD of all time. I too was initially perplexed by the “gave up His pride”, line, but I thought about it some and I actually reached the conclusion that I believe God is rightful to have pride. Pride for man is sinful, because man has nothing to be proud of when it compares to God’s holiness and righteousness.
I agree – a great project! I just got the DVD of their performance at the Ryman last year. Awesome. On the “pride” thing, if there is one who CAN have pride (a sense of self-worth, respect, and satisfaction) without sin, it is God. He is not vain to recognize His infinite worthiness. Just like “jealous” is a “bad word” that God can emote in a valid and holy way (Exod. 20:5), I think “He gave up His pride and came here to die like a man” is an acceptable versafication of Phil. 2:7-8 – “but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Why, I’m proud of Andy’s creativity. (just kidding)
God can be “self-centered” in a matter of speaking, since He himself has the highest worth. For God not to act like the center of the universe is idolotry, since, in fact, He is the center. (Isaiah 48:11 – c.f. Edwards/Piper “God’s Passion for His glory”)
However, if God is rightful to have pride, is he wrong to give it up? Did God stop recognizing His infinite worthiness? Of course not. That would be sin.
I agree with Bob, there’s a better way to express this.
I just got this CD last week and I love it. It will keep the true meaning of Christmas flowing through your head all the day through.