Matt Redmanís Christmas Gift to the Church
Posted October 30, 2016
~~This is singer, songwriter and worship leader Matt Redman’s - perhaps best known for his song “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” - first Christmas album. To help with the songwriting for the record, Redman went on a retreat to Israel. He walked through the old roads that Jesus would have walked, and went to some of the key places where key events of the gospel happened when Jesus walked this Earth. During this time he thought a lot about Jesus coming as a little newborn baby. His intent is not just to tell the story of Christ’s birth, but to make sure we put ourselves in the story as well.
As always, Redman provides us with biblically based worship music that we can enjoy and also sing in corporate worship this Christmas season.
Below are a few comments on each of the songs:
These Christmas Lights – In the title song, he sings of the lights shining bright as the cry of the angels sing for the glory of the King (Luke 2). We need to sing that sacred song again. This is really a prayer that our eyes be opened and our hearts believe that the wonder of that Christmas night be born in us, and that our Christmas lights will shine for Him alone.
His Name Shall Be – Written with Jonas Myrin. His name shall be Jesus, it’s the name that came to save us. The joyful chorus for this song comes from the angel’s song in Isaiah 9:6 that we can sing now:
His name shall be called Wonderful,
Prince of Peace for all eternity oh,
His name shall be
O Little Town (The Glory Of Christmas) – This is a new version of the traditional Christmas hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. It opens with Redman singing with piano, and it gently builds with the help of a backing choir. The glory of Christmas is the glory of Christ and the story of his love.
Angels (Singing Gloria) – This song features vocals from Redman’s long-time friend and occasional collaborator Chris Tomlin. It features keyboard, acoustic guitar, horns and choir. It is based on Luke 2:14 - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Help From Heaven – This song features strong vocals from British singer and songwriter Natasha Bedingfield who shares lead vocals with Redman. It begins with piano and builds gently with strings, and then powerfully with the help of a choir. Every heart needs a rescue, every soul needs a breakthrough. We all need help from Heaven. The song is a bit of a departure for Redman.
Hearts Waiting (Joy To The World) – This song opens with a hand-clap and a sample of the Christmas hymn “Joy to the World”. The chorus joyfully proclaims joy to the World, the Lord has come to us. It closes with a sample from Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”, “And He shall reign for ever and ever”.
Glory To You In The Highest (O Come Let Us Adore) – This song features the vocals of urban contemporary gospel singer Tasha Cobbs. It is a song of adoration to Christ, based on Luke 2:14. Christ came to bridge the great divide. To us Christ has been born and to us He has been given. He is the hope of all the earth and the highest name in Heaven. The song builds including a choir and includes a sample of the hymn “O Come All Ye Faithful”.
How Far – This beautiful song has Redman singing with just piano and strings. There is a theme of “how far”? He asks how far is it to Bethlehem where hope was born and sin conquered, and the great divide bridged with perfect grace and sacrifice. How far love has come to bring us home. How far Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem and how far Christ went for Calvary. No greater grace was ever known. No great love was ever seen. From Bethlehem to Calvary, our hearts will always follow Him. This simple, but powerful song is my favorite on the album.
Glory Hallelujah – This song begins with a heavy beat, piano, guitar and adds good backing vocals. It is simple lyrically, has a live sound, and would be excellent for corporate worship as we raise our voices high to join the angel’s choir singing the praises of our God.
The Name Of Emmanuel – This song looks at God coming as a man. It opens with keyboards as he asks can it be that the voice that said “Let there be light” is now in the newborn cry of the Christ child. He is God with us (Emmanuel). The holy One is one of us. Can it be that the almighty God who never rests is lying here in perfect peace? It’s the amazing miracle of Christ’s incarnation, Son of Man and Son of God. The song builds powerfully and features good backing vocals that can lead to nothing other than praise.
Holy Night – This song is about the sacred holy night in the fields of Bethlehem that includes a heavenly symphony from the angels. God has come. God’s glory is shining bright on this holy night. It builds with keys, drums and choir. Let Your Glory shine on us just like on that holy night.
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