I can't believe it. This is my 100th Worship Reflective article. I'm so grateful to the NewReleaseToday team for letting me guide a series for this long; writing these articles has been the needed highlight of so many of my weeks and a way that God has often used to speak to me.
It's 37 degrees out and dropping, so I'm feeling the Christmas spirit today. I pray as we jump around with all the jingly sounds of a jolly next month that we will also reflect on the amazing grace of Jesus. I'll be diving into three of my favorite Christmas worship albums, but there are so many more than the ones I mention here. Hopefully, this will encourage you to check out more melodies by these artists with an amazing handle on what Christmas truly means.
Christmas: The Peace Project by Hillsong Worship
I will readily admit an intense amount of bias toward this album and the band, considering that I recently went to see Hillsong UNITED in concert (it was incredible in case anyone was wondering). That aside, though, "Seasons" is a Hillsong essential for me, Christmastime or not. Worship leader Benjamin Hastings, who leads this song and helped write it, sings "If all I know of harvest/Is that it's worth my patience/Then if You're not done working/God I'm not done waiting."
Also, worship leader Taya Gaukrodger gives the classic "O Holy Night" a new sound. I won't drag this paragraph of praise on with lyrics we already know, but I certainly encourage anyone reading this to give the song a listen. Taya's sweet voice belts out the lyrics and the trust behind her declarations are clear. Honorable mentions on this project include "Joy to the World" and "Noel" since they are Christmas music staples in and of themselves.
Behold by Lauren Daigle
It wouldn't be Christmas without pop star Lauren Daigle's "Light of the World," a melody I look forward to hearing on the radio every year. She crafts a true story of people longing for salvation and receiving it as the Savior, Jesus Christ. "For all who wait/For all who hunger," He has arrived. "Behold your King" all you who wonder, Lauren cries out. She candidly admits that as children of God on this side of heaven, we will struggle, and we will question God. But, when we do, all it takes is a reminder of His grace as sending His Son, and the realization of the light of the world will dawn again.
Because of my profound love for "Light of the World," I will confess that I haven't explored the rest of this album as much as I should. I know her renditions of "Jingle Bells" and "What Child Is This?" are exceptional. I'm going to make it a point to listen to the full album in the coming weeks--and I hope you will, too.
A Drummer Boy Christmas by for KING & COUNTRY
Once again, I admit live experience bias as I am going to see this popular family duo, Joel and Luke Smallbone, in concert in a few weeks. So, until then, I'll be preparing by listening to the album on repeat. Arguably their most popular Christmas song is the duo's rendition of "Little Drummer Boy." I highly suggest watching the music video because the performance that accompanies the tune is phenomenal. Traditional as this tune may be, the excitement these musicians must have felt to meet their Savior hits me every time. I'm overwhelmed with a fresh wave of gratitude on behalf of Jesus for wanting to be my best friend. I pray that you encounter His presence as you listen to this record.
As I mentioned before, due to Joel and Luke's stellar stage presence, this entire album is an experience like no other. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is another one of my favorites as well as "Angels We Have Heard on High." "Glorious" also gets a mention here because it contains my favorite lyric, "He is the chorus to every song that we were born to sing." The Drummer Boy Christmas tour starts soon and there are still tickets available for several cities. Perhaps these tunes will inspire you to attend.
From artists like Riley Clemmons to Chris Tomlin, there are many more Christmas melodies to fill up your playlists this holiday season. I encourage you to explore wherever you get your music from; heading into a new year is a great time to find new favorite artists. Thanks once again to everyone who has supported this (100-strong) Worship Reflective series. Here's to many more.
Selena Schulz is NRT’s youngest staff contributor. She loves God, music, reading, and writing.
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