As we hear the Christmas story often while December 25th gets closer and closer, we talked to some of your favorite artists about which character in the story (aside from Jesus) is most interesting to them and why.
"Joseph is the most interesting character to me in the Christmas Story. As reluctant at first that he was to accept his role, he was faithful and obedient to his position after the angel told him that Mary would give birth to our Savior."
- Jonathan Cain
"The obedience of Joseph and Mary to God in the midst of the most uncertain moments of their lives is something that really speaks to me. Their fear of the unknown could have made either turn and run from their calling, but by faithfully carrying out God's instructions, they found themselves in the middle of the miracle that changed the world."
- Matthew West
"Definitely Mary. To have found that much favor in the eyes of God to carry His Son is astounding. And to think she was so young! I love her heart of obedience and surrender."
- Meredith Andrews
"The Wise Men. Not Jewish, yet students of prophecy and the signs in the heavens: it was so obvious to them that the Promised King of the Jews was born that they embarked on a long journey just to see Him with their own eyes. That's faith that defies logic."
- Aaron Shust
"Oh for sure, it's Mary. She had such a deep level of trust while she carried a baby placed within her in the most miraculous of ways. She amazes me with her faith, obedience and love."
- Alisa Turner
"John, who became the Baptist. He was born an unspecified time before Jesus, but roughly at the same time. He isn't featured again in Jesus' story until it's time to baptize Jesus, but the Luke account of Jesus' birth shows us that John was a major part of it. He interests me because it's pretty much his birthday too, which we tend to forget!"
- John Ellis of Tree63
"Probably the shepherds. They were some of the lowest of the low on a social scale, and God decided to proclaim the birth of the savior of the world to them."
- Jon Lowry of Unspoken
"I've always had an affinity for the shepherds. Just some regular dudes. Minding their own business. Seeing an angel. Scared out of their minds. And then they had a great story to tell that night... and pretty much every night after that, I imagine."
- Marc Martel
"Wisemen-- I just cannot imagine being wise and renowned for your intellect, and then following constellations to a baby born outside with the animals. On top of that, they bowed down and worshipped Him (a crying baby). Such incredible faith!"
- Jeff Luckey of For All Seasons
"Joseph... I can't imagine what he must have been thinking and feeling when his fiancée told him she was pregnant! The faith and humility required of Mary and Joseph is astounding to me. I pray for that same measure of faith and courage to walk the road before me as I follow Jesus in my own life."
- Greg Sykes
"Mary. As a mother, I feel that my children are the greatest gifts I've ever received. The moment I first held each of them in my arms, it seemed time stood still and there was only us: no outside noises, no weighty circumstances, just the love we saw in each others' eyes. I can't imagine the humility, gratitude and weight Mary felt as the chosen mother of Christ."
- Sheri Easter
"Joseph, because we know so little about him."
- Tanya Goodman Sykes of Goodman Revival
"The Shepherds. They 'made haste' to worship Jesus. They cut no corners, wasted no time, went as straight as an arrow to their destination and found Jesus to be everything the angel had said."
- Johnny Minick of Goodman Revival
"I think of Joseph. There's not much detail about his life and what it was like to raise Jesus, but I admire his commitment after his engagement was interrupted. I'd love to pick his brain and get the behind-the-scenes drama, which is why I just love Nativity Story (the movie)." - Nirva of Seth & Nirva
"Yeah, I can't imagine receiving the news he did, and having the courage and faith to stick it out with Mary-- even in the face of the pressure he likely felt from those around him."
- Seth of Seth & Nirva
"Joseph. I think this guy gets overlooked a bit in our Christmas tradition. I often think about what it would be like to have the responsibility to be the earthly father to Jesus and the husband to Mary? What went through his mind? As a father and a husband, I resonate with his role in the story, and I have always found him to be such an interesting character."
- Aaron Ivey of Austin Stone Worship
"Writing this album definitely made me think a lot about Mary. I've imagined and conjectured a lot of things about her. In the Roman Empire, the Jews were oppressed and marginalized. And in that era, a woman was never going to have a voice strong enough to speak on behalf of her race. I believe that she had a warrior spirit and a deep desire to fight for freedom and lead the revolt! God chose to use a young girl-- someone who was totally voiceless to the establishment-- as the primary figure in the Christmas story. Pretty amazing decision on God's part."
- Melanie Penn
"Mary, mother of Jesus. As a new mom (I have a two year old), I would LOVE to know what it must have been like parenting Jesus, and all the dynamics that went into that!"
- Shelly Johnson
Assembled from the four corners of North America and many other corners in between, the NRTeam is comprised of staffers whose energy is equally dispersed towards loving music and writing about the music they love.
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