In the First Light

I don’t know if anyone will be reading this today or not, but if you are, I wanted to post some lyrics I wrote about 20 years ago. We were working on an independent project with a vocalist named Kathy Sinni, and wanted an “all year round” Christmas song for the recording. A song that included the birth of Christ, but explored what happened both before and after that event. The result was the song, In the First Light, recorded by GLAD on two of their a cappella CD’s. I pray it will be an encouragement to you.

In the first light of a new day no one knew he had arrived
Things continued as they had been while a newborn softly cried
But the heavens wrapped in wonder knew the meaning of his birth
In the weakness of a baby they knew God had come to earth

As his mother held him closely it was hard to understand
That her baby, not yet speaking, was the word of God to man
He would tell them of his kingdom but their hearts would not believe
They would hate him and in anger they would nail him to a tree

But the sadness would be broken as the song of life arose
And the firstborn of creation would ascend and take his throne
He had left it to redeem us but before his life began
He knew he’d come back, not as a baby, but as the Lord of every man

Hear the angels as they’re singing on the morning of his birth
But how much greater will our song be when he comes again to earth
Hear the angels as they’re singing on the morning of his birth
But how much greater will our song be when he comes to rule the earth!

May the gift of the Savior Himself be your greatest joy, today and every day.


43 Responses to In the First Light

  1. Dan December 25, 2005 at 12:19 PM #

    Yes I am reading today… and yes, that song defintely was an encouragement. I’ve been listening to that song for years… had no idea you wrote it. Thanks for pen-ning those wonderful truths about the Incarnation.

    • Nancy A December 22, 2023 at 7:02 AM #

      This song is such a blessing to me this Christmas of 2023.
      I loved the Glad version and I was reminded of it when The Vocal Majority sang it (wonderfully!) in their Christmas Concert this December.
      For me it was a “chills down my spine” response .. good chills :)
      God bless.

  2. Lindele December 25, 2005 at 3:15 PM #

    I’m reading today, too…just checked in case there was something new! And I asked for and received for Christmas the book you recommend over on the side, True Worship by Vaughan Roberts, which I’m looking forward to reading. Merry Christmas!

  3. Kyle December 25, 2005 at 11:57 PM #

    Thanks Bob!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  4. Dan Lucarini December 27, 2005 at 8:45 PM #

    My family really appreciates that song, Bob. We listened to it on Christmas Eve. Praise be to God for it and thanks. The tune and the music style also make this song accessible to a wide variety of churches and worship traditions. Were you also responsible for the music? Please write more songs like this that can transcend the ‘style’ barriers.

  5. Bob Kauflin December 28, 2005 at 1:56 PM #

    To Dan:

    Thanks for your encouragement, Dan. I wrote the music to First Light as well. I was trying to do something much simpler than the typical GLAD song…

    Although I think God is glorified through a variety of musical styles, I’m committed to writing more songs that transcend generational boundaries and can be sung by old and young alike. We need them so that we may “with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Rom. 15:6)

    Thanks again for your meaningful encouragement.

  6. Todd Humphrey December 30, 2005 at 12:03 AM #

    Without a doubt, this song is by far my favorite all-time Christmas song and I would argue one of the best ever written in our time. It tells the whole story in a sincere and passionate way like no other song I’ve ever heard. Folks are always provoked and responsive when we do it, whether they are singing it or just listening to the choir. Thanks for writing it!

  7. Patrick Donohue December 30, 2005 at 11:14 AM #


    I turned 30 this year and for the first time I’m identifying with things people say were 20 years ago! I remember hearing this song when I was 10, before I had ever picked up a guitar, before I had ever led a song in worship, and I still remember being taken by it. I look forward to tracking it down, maybe on iTunes (boy how things have changed in 20 years).


  8. Abby January 5, 2006 at 3:21 PM #

    My dad, brother, sister, and I (who love to sing together) have sung this song yearly….and through-out the year as well. We even attempt our “GLAD version” of the song….our favorite part being at the conclusion of the song ‘When He comes to rule…..the earth!” Praise be to our King, and thanks for being an instrument in the hands of our King to share with all of us that song.

  9. Paul Hayes May 9, 2008 at 12:14 PM #

    Bob I enjoy the song “In the First Light” I have been listening to it for years. My Children sing it in their school chorus. Recently the chorus was singing at a local church and some of the members where offended by the line in the song. “When He comes to rule the earth”. The ones that where offended say that this line is in reference to Christ setting up a kingdom here on earth that he will reign for 1000 years. I am not sure if that is what you are talking about. Could you clear this up for me? Paul

  10. Bob Kauflin May 9, 2008 at 1:00 PM #


    Thanks for asking. Always fascinates me how people understand lyrics through a filter. That line is a reference to the fact that Christ’s rule will be unchallenged when he returns. Holding to an amillenialist perspective, I definitely wasn’t talking about Jesus coming to set up a thousand year reign. But I understand 1 Thess. 4:13-17 to mean that Jesus is coming back to earth and that all things will be made new, and we will reign eternally with him (Rev. 22:5).

    Is that helpful?

    • Ron Thaxton December 4, 2016 at 10:42 AM #

      Thank you! Certainly helped me….

  11. Mr. Vincent Richley November 21, 2008 at 5:17 PM #

    Excellent lyrics and wonderful rendering of the song by Glad!

    May I reprint “In the First Light” in our parish magazine? (Circulation about 50)

    Thank you

  12. Beckie Johnson November 30, 2008 at 8:03 PM #

    I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!! Thank you for writing it. Beckie Johnson, Murfreesboro, TN

  13. Billy Arnold November 3, 2009 at 4:27 PM #

    I have for many, many years just loved this song. This year I am doing planning for our services in December around the idea of the simplicity, yet eternal power of the story. Your song came back to mind,and I have again been moved by it once again. I’ve been singing it alot lately. Bob… you and the others from Glad stayed in my home one time in Waco, Texas (about 30 years ago!) You sang for us in a couple concerts for our youth ministry. I am now, and have been for 25 years, in Seattle. God bless you. Billy Arnold, Pastor

    • Bob Kauflin November 3, 2009 at 5:18 PM #

      Billy, great to hear from you. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  14. Larry Roberts November 24, 2009 at 3:11 AM #

    I was accessing various search engines for the background music to “In the First Light” and came across this board. Thank you a million times over for penning these words! They truly bless my family and me any time of the year. My wife and I were asked to sing this song in a couple of weeks so we are looking for taped accompaniment music for this song. I realize that Glad sang it a cappella but we would like some support since we are singing it as a duet. Please post here if you know of a resource. Thank you!

  15. Jeremy Fern December 19, 2009 at 10:03 PM #


    I’m profoundly moved by this song. I first heard it by GLAD years and years ago. For the first time, I’ll be singing it solo at church tomorrow morning. Thank you for such an amazing song.

    God Bless,

  16. Stephanie December 27, 2009 at 2:02 PM #


    I first heard this song over 15 years ago. Ever since it has been my very favorite Christmas/Easter song I have ever heard. I want my ward choir to sing it this Easter, but am having a hard time finding which arrangement would be best. I like the way GLAD sings it, but there is no way that we can do this aceppella. What is the best arrangement for me to use and where can I find it.

  17. TroyP December 28, 2009 at 6:24 PM #


    Nevermind your automatic, humble reply.

    You Rock! God has given you an amazing gift for expressing praise to Him in music. You have blessed my life by pointing me to Jesus (for more than 20 years now).

    Thank you!

    • Bob Kauflin December 29, 2009 at 11:57 AM #

      Troy, thanks for your encouraging words. I’m only passing on what I’ve freely received from others. And hearing from guys like you make it an even greater joy.

  18. Wayne Smith January 30, 2010 at 9:53 AM #

    Good morning, Bob. Have no idea if you still monitor these posts but am going to try. :-) I’m in South America (Colombia), Hermano, and teach at a Bible Inst. here. Around the world people hunger to connect to the Big Story perspective of reality. I’ve loved this song since the first time I heard it for that very reason. Thank you.

    Are you aware, Bob, if anyone has ever made any attempt to reduplicate that in Spanish?


    • Bob Kauflin January 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM #

      Wayne, thanks for your encouraging words. I don’t know anyone who has translated In the First LIght into Spanish. Are you thinking you’d like to try?

  19. Melissa Lennon November 12, 2010 at 8:07 PM #

    Dear Bob,
    Thank you very much for sharing such a powerful and complete story in song! The GLAD CD was shared with me by a loving pastor in the past month; this song was my immediate favorite. I have shared it since with a musically talented choir member. I/we hope to sing it in our church talent show right before Christmas! Thank you for such instant inspiration!

  20. yankeegospelgirl November 15, 2011 at 2:52 PM #

    I just found and listened to this song again. I’m putting together a Christmas mix for a friend who just came back to the faith within the past couple years. Picking songs with lots of meaning, and this is a must-include!

  21. Edmark October 17, 2012 at 8:00 AM #

    Hey Bob, so you composed this 10 years ago? This is my most favorite Christmas song.

    It is a very beautiful song. Could you tell me how you came upon writing it? What was the process you underwent, or you just wrote it in an instant? Did you think about the melody right away?

    It is so beautiful, especially the lyrics. It encompasses not only the birth but also other aspects of Christ’s life.

    • Bob Kauflin October 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM #

      Ed, thanks for your encouragement. I wrote it over a few days, but probably started with the melody. I wanted it to be very simple and repetitive, unlike much of the GLAD work that I had done previously.

  22. Sherry Bennett November 20, 2013 at 11:50 PM #

    Bob, I have to tell you how much this song has meant to me through the years. I heard it for the first time, on my first “Christmas Album” that I received as a prize from a Roller Rink, shortly after I accepted Christ. It touched my heart in so many ways. It explored all the new meaning of the birth and resurrection of Christ that I had never before understood. When I started dating my husband, and borrowed his car, the only tape he had in the car was GLAD acappella…… again, my favorite.

    My children have sang it in 8 parts acappella at school and our “brand new” youth choir at our church would like to sing it in 4 parts acappella . Do you know if there is sheet music in SATB in a similar arrangement to GLAD’s rendition? If so, how would I go about purchasing it?

    Thanks so much,

  23. Sherry Bennett November 23, 2013 at 8:23 PM #

    Thank you so much!

  24. NANCY CARDINALE@GMAIL.COM January 3, 2016 at 11:19 PM #


  25. Brian Wiersma December 8, 2017 at 3:40 PM #

    This song kills me dead every time I hear it, and I’ve been listening since its first release. I love it so much, and thank you for writing it. My eight year old son and my five year old daughter were singing along with Glad in our car just last week at the top of our lungs at the end of the song and when the big final chord concluded, and we were all red in the face from pushing our vocals and the emotional effect of the lyrics my son said: “We should listen to this song everyday!”

    • Bob Kauflin December 8, 2017 at 3:57 PM #

      Brian, that is hugely encouraging! Thanks! But the song doesn’t come close to the songs we’ll be singing when Jesus comes back!

      • Brian Wiersma January 17, 2019 at 6:42 PM #

        No doubt about that! I didn’t realized you responded to my comment till today! : ) How’s that for paying attention? I’ve been singing with a group that is part of The Acappella Comany for twenty years now (Vocal Union). We frequently listen to Glad on our road trips… these tunes are just timeless and provide endless joy, encouragement and faith bolstering.

        Thanks again, I can’t wait to tell my kids tonight that we hugely encouraged you!

  26. Noel Brown January 17, 2019 at 7:43 AM #

    Bob, I first heard your words (via Glad) about 10 years ago. I regret that I did not hear them sooner, but I am making up for lost time! Thank you for your inspiration, the words and music have been a great inspiration for some many folks, even those of us way down under in New Zealand.

    • Bob Kauflin January 17, 2019 at 4:22 PM #

      Noel, thanks for your encouraging words!

  27. Melissa M Lukas October 22, 2019 at 11:03 PM #

    I love this song so much and want to our Christmas choir to sing it this year. I’ve been trying to locate a soundtrack of this piece. Does it exist? We have phenomenal musicians but probably not the means to organize live instrumentation this year.

    • Bob Kauflin October 24, 2019 at 12:16 PM #

      Melissa, I’m not aware of one that’s available. But I’d do a Google search and see what you come up with!

  28. Dan Pinka December 16, 2019 at 12:38 PM #

    Bob, thanks for posting this. It is not everyday that you get an opportunity to thank a songwriter personally. Thank you so much for writing this song. It has framed my view of Christ every Christmas for the past 28 years. May Christ rule in our hearts until he comes to rule the earth. Merry Christmas!

    • Bob Kauflin December 16, 2019 at 1:52 PM #

      Dan, thanks for your encouraging words! Yes – may Christ rule in our hearts until he comes to rule the earth!

  29. Robert Taylor Straton April 25, 2024 at 5:19 PM #

    Bob, I’m not sure if when you wrote this post in 2005 that you would have imagined people reading it nearly 20 years later. But I must say, this piece has been an integral part of my faith journey since I first heard it in high school in the mid 2000s. It is wonderfully written and provides a true north arrow in the form of music in today’s increasingly turbulent world with a joyful reminder of who Jesus is and how he will return. And to think you wrote it nearly 40 years ago! Anyway, thank you for sharing and best wishes!

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