in December 2013, my friend sent me a text. She invited me to attend a show with her in Richmond by singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson called the “Behold the Lamb of God” tour. To be honest, I did not want to go. I am an introvert who does to like to be cold, so it takes a LOT to get me out of my house during the months of December, January, and February! I knew nothing about this Andrew Peterson either. However, I wanted my friend to get to enjoy her show, and I knew she would not go alone. The cost was not too bad for a show, just $25. Knowing that my friend and I could have fun no matter what we did together including watching paint dry, I reluctantly agreed to attend this event with her.
Little did I know that this event would become an annual tradition for us.
Little did I know this Andrew Peterson guy would become one of my favorite artists of all time.
Little did I know, this show would make Christmas come alive to me in a new and complete way.
The first half of the “Behold the Lamb of God” tour highlights the artists on the tour as they showcase their own individual songs. During intermission, we all sing “It Is Well With My Soul” to call back everyone who is out in the lobby and prepare our hearts for the second half. During the second half, the artists share the Christmas story starting at the very beginning of God’s Word to highlight the complete story. The end is my favorite part. There is no applause. No one takes a bow. Instead, Scripture is read. We all sing together the Doxology and the artists quietly file off the stage. It is true. It is meaningful. It is thought provoking. It is Christmas. For me each year, it is coming home to the story of the birth of Christ and feeling wrapped up in the arms of love of it all.
This week as we celebrate the birth of Christ, I want to invite you to do two things. I want to invite you to do something special you always do to celebrate the season.
Something that is tradition for you.
Something that feels like coming home.
Then I challenge you to do something new. Do something this Christmas that allows you to take in God with us in an entirely different way. It does not have to be complicated just different.
*Listen to a new Christmas album
*Watch a movie or documentary about the birth of Christ
*Ask a child to tell you the story of the birth of Christ (maybe not mine though unless you want to hear about dragons coming to the manger ;-)).
*Pray through the characters of the story, and ask for God to give you their character traits. (Ex: May God give you joy like the angels, trust like Mary and Joseph, desire to follow God’s guidance like the magi…..)
*Read the Christmas story from a different translation of the Bible than what you normally take in.
This year as you celebrate the Christmas season do something old, and do something new!
And if you want to check out the story in songs from Andrew Peterson click here. It should play them all automatically in order, but if it does not, all the songs are numbered on the right hand side, so you can just click through them.