This is the third video we put together in anticipation of our upcoming Christmas album, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song, due out Sept. 29.
It’s the title track, Prepare Him Room, and was written by Rebecca Elliott and Dave Fournier. They started it at our songwriter retreat back in January and after a number of revisions came up with the current version. Here are some thoughts from Dave on how the song came to be:
One helpful brainstorming strategy, when songwriting, is to start with potential titles. When we worked on Grace Has Come, for instance, a reading through the text yielded twenty or so titles that I thought would sound like interesting songs. One such stray title, “Judge of the Secrets,” went on to become a full-fledged song. Same with “Prepare Him Room.” I had always loved that phrase in “Joy to the World” and had written it down as a potential title. As I meditated on what that potential song would be about, the call to “prepare Him room” seemed to be sounding in a number of directions. “Let Earth receive her King” – there was this cosmic call to all of Creation – let all opposing thrones disintegrate, let every rival step aside, let the earth quake and let the darkness flee; God Incarnate was coming. But there was also “let every heart prepare Him room” – a personal call for each one of us to prepare room in our own hearts for this King who would come in humility, exposing our sins even as He proclaims forgiveness. There’s this wonderful announcement – through angels, shepherds, prophets, and a young Jewish virgin – that something BIG is about to happen, that someone is about to enter the scene who would change everything. This made me think of Psalm 24’s King of Glory and the mighty call to make room for him, to open the ancient gates. The chorus came first, and then Rebecca and I worked to try to capture something of both the personal and the cosmic call to prepare Him room. We hope the song is a blessing!
The lyrics are loosely based on Luke 2:25-35, where Simeon meets the newborn Christ. The last line added to the song was this one in vs. 3: “Through the cradle, cross, and grave see the love of God displayed.” I love the way it succinctly brings together the significance of Jesus’ birth. Jesus was born, died, and rose again to display the Father’s heart of love. Amazing grace.
In the video it’s performed by Neil DeGraide on electric, Jonny Barahona on keys (courtesy of our friends at Sojourn Church), Devon Kauflin on acoustic, Kate DeGraide on vocals, and Rebecca on lead. Lyrics are below. If you missed them, I posted two other preview videos, Who Would Have Dreamed and He Who is Mighty.
O behold, the mystery now unfolds
See the star shine on the virgin foretold
Angels sing and light up the sky
Hope rings out in a newborn’s cry
Swing wide, you ancient gates
For Christ is born today!
Prepare Him room
Prepare Him room
Let the King of glory enter in
God with us, the promise has come to be
This, the one the prophets were longing to see
In the darkness a blazing light
To the hungry the words of life
His kingdom now is near
For those with ears to hear
Oh, our hearts, as busy as Bethlehem
Hear Him knock, don’t say there’s no room in the inn
Through the cradle, cross, and grave
See the love of God displayed
Now He’s risen and He reigns
Praise the Name above all names!
© 2014 Sovereign Grace Praise