#278 - "He Has Come For Us" by Meredith Andrews
NRT's Kevin Davis talks with Meredith Andrews about her take on the classic carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

There are a lot of choices when it comes to Christmas music. This year, more than ever, I felt a bit overwhelmed when I started to listen to various takes of classic Christmas songs like “Joy To The World”, “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night.” Thankfully, as much as I love those songs, they don’t appear on this excellent five-song Christmas EP called Come Now Our King.

Instead, five fresh new exciting artists all contributed to a very enjoyable new collection of songs. Every song is a highlight for me including the original Christmas song “Come Now Our King” by this year’s Best New Artist Chris August and “Hope Was Born This Night” by last year’s Best New Artist Sidewalk Prophets.

I have three young daughters and leading up to Christmas almost everyday they ask to listen to the last three songs which are truly stunning, in particular “He Has Come For Us,” which is an amazing medley with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Meredith Andrews. She sings the song with such passion it is hard to not get caught up in the emotion of the song.

I had the great opportunity to interview Meredith about her amazing Christmas song, “He Has Come For Us (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen).”

Please tell me the story behind writing the song “He Has Come For Us.”

It was a couple of years ago that I decided to write and record my own Christmas song. I love Christmas; who doesn’t? I remember saying to my co-writer and producer Jason Ingram that I’ve always wanted to cover “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” but write my own chorus. There’s something about that song, both the words and melody.

The song portrays a sort of urgency and the darkness we were in before Christ came for us. Our souls are now at peace because God sent His Son. Jason and I were thinking about how to proclaim that Jesus came down from Heaven to this filthy wasteland that we call Earth, full of people Jesus knew would reject Him. He came anyway. It gets me so fired up when I think about the King of the universe humbling Himself and coming as a baby.

Lord willing, I’ll never lose sight of the power of that. Our Lord and Savior came to a stable and was in a feeding trough. That blows my mind that He would be born into such poverty and such a humble state. I love that about the Lord. In essence He reaches out to all humanity regardless of our ethnicity, background, or socio-economic class. He’s extending Himself to all of us. I love that. It’s the story of Christmas.

Every year I try to wrap my mind around that Truth and I am always so humbled by the humility that Jesus demonstrated. The chorus and bridge came to us in about thirty minutes after we talked about what we wanted to say, “He has come for us, this Jesus, He’s the Hope for all mankind.” It’s a simple chorus, but it says a lot about the meaning of Christmas. I love singing it.

Did you base the song on any Bible verses?

Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

...and Luke 2:8-14: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”

Do you have any personal application regarding your walk as a Christian in the song?

There’s so much hope in the truth of this song, Jesus came for all of us. I’m fired up just thinking about Christmas as we talk about this song. That’s the Gospel, that Jesus stepped out of His glory to come and reach out to us in our struggles and individual sins. No matter our past, or shortcomings, Jesus came for us. So many times we get drawn in by the commercial aspects of Christmas of presents and retailers. When I was a little girl, I remember being excited about gifts and Santa and never fail, every year when I was done opening presents and driving home from my grandmother’s house I had an empty feeling. I would think “I have to wait another whole year for that?” As I’ve gotten older, the Lord has show me the wealth that we have. Our true gift and our free gift from God is Jesus.

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ, our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O, tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O, tidings of comfort and joy

He has come for us
This Jesus
He's the hope for all
He has come for us
The Messiah
Born to give us life

From God, our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same
How that Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name
O, tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O, tidings of comfort and joy

He has come for us
This Jesus
He's the hope for all
He has come for us
The Messiah
Born to give us life

All the angels sing "Hallelujah!
"Jesus Christ is born!"
All the children sing "Hallelujah!
"He is Christ the Lord!"

He has come for us
This Jesus
He's the hope for all
He has come for us
The Messiah
Born to give us life
He is born to give us life

All the angels sing "Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ is born!"
All the children sing "Hallelujah!
"He is Christ the Lord!"

Here’s Asbury’s Bible commentary on Luke 2:8-14: “Luke sets the events of the gospel against the background of world history. The pagan emperor's decree about a census created the situation in which the Messiah was born in David's city of Bethlehem. Matthew records the recognition of Jesus by Magi, men of high reputation and standing. But Luke describes the visit of shepherds, people of low esteem, to the manger where Jesus lay. The angel's song according to many manuscripts, was “peace on earth, goodwill to men”; but the NIV translation, “on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests,” follows the earliest and most reliable manuscripts. Jesus did not bring political peace to the world, but he made it possible for men and women to have peace with God. Charles Wesley interprets the message as “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”

Come Now Our King is a truly fresh and catchy set of excellent Christmas songs. Vocally, these five artists--Chris August, Sidewalk Prophets, Meredith Andrews, BarlowGirl and Francesca Battistelli--bring such passion and talent to these songs. I can't help but experience the true spirit of Christmas. I'll be listening to these five amazing songs consistently this holiday season. Come Now Our King prepares my heart and mind to celebrate and revere the birth of my King.

I get goosebumps when I sing along with Meredith at the top of my lungs, this song “He Has Come For Us” is incredibly powerful and proclaims the biblical Truth of Christmas. Each time during the song right after Meredith sings the famous lyrics from the classic Christmas hymn of the faith “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”—“O, tidings of comfort and joy” she sings the profound worship chorus: “He has come for us, This Jesus, He's the hope for all Mankind, He has come for us, The Messiah, Born to give us life.”

That’s the application of the song. Jesus is our “tiding of comfort and joy.” This song is our worshipful response to our endless seeking for true comfort and true joy. If we really meditate on that, and decide this Christmas to make some sacrifices. Maybe go to a homeless shelter or participate in Operation Christmas Child. There’s so much more fulfillment in those things.

Jesus gave of Himself. His gift was free and undeserved. That’s the true meaning of Christmas. When you allow that to sink down from your head into your heart, it changes us and how we respond. It affects all aspects of our lives. My prayer for my life and my family is that we all truly understand that Jesus came for each one of us. Our response is to worship Him and share Him with others who don’t know Him.

Amen to that!

(Here’s a cool video of the song.)

Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ.

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