We released our first Christmas album, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, in 2006. A few years ago I started thinking we should do another one. After all, we can never have too many songs that help us reflect on and celebrate the wonder of Jesus becoming Emmanuel, God with us.
So I was intrigued last fall when my good friend, Marty Machowski, asked if Sovereign Grace Music would be interested in producing a Christmas album to accompany an Advent curriculum he had written. After a few conversations with Marty and his publisher, New Growth Press, we decided it would be a great opportunity. The result was our next album, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song, due out Sept. 29. While the album will stand on its own, thirteen of the fourteen songs on it correspond with lessons from Marty’s devotional.
Writing songs to specific passages of Scripture in each lesson caused us to explore some new territory for Christmas songs. While not all of the songs ended up being congregational, I’m pretty excited about what we ended up with.
Below is a preview version of a song I co-wrote with Jason Hansen, a pastor in the Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ. We started it at a songwriter retreat in January and finished it over many long distance sessions using FaceTime and Google Docs.
The song is called “Who Would Have Dreamed” and is based on Micah 5:1-2.
Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
We tried to capture the wonder that God would choose unlikely Bethlehem as the birthplace for the Messiah, and the greater wonder that the Son of God himself would be born as an infant. Here are the lyrics:
On a starlit hillside, shepherds watched their sheep
Slowly, David’s city drifted off to sleep
But to this little town of no great renown
The Lord had a promise to keep
Prophets had foretold it, a mighty King would come
Long-awaited Ruler, God’s anointed one
But the Sovereign of all looked helpless and small
As God gave the world His own Son
And who would have dreamed or ever foreseen
That we could hold God in our hands?
The Giver of Life is born in the night
Revealing God’s glorious plan
To save the world
Wondrous gift of heaven: the Father sends the Son
Planned from time eternal, moved by holy love
He will carry our curse and death He’ll reverse
So we can be daughters and sons
And here’s the preview. I’m delighted that it’s being sung by my youngest daughter, McKenzie.