On Monday I suggested some Advent hymns, and on Tuesday some more contemporary Advent songs that you might find helpful to include in your services during this season of preparation for Jesus’ coming.
Here are a couple more resources/song ideas. Most of these probably work better as special pieces, not necessarily sung congregationally.
1. Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God”
In 2000, Andrew Peterson released “Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ”, a CD that masterfully tells the story of salvation in twelve songs. The first five songs deal with themes such as the Passover (“Passover Us”), Israel’s longing for a King (“So Long Moses”), and their need for deliverance (“Deliver Us”). A fantastic instrumental version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” comes right before “Matthew’s Begats”, the genealogy of Jesus Christ set to a bluegrass tune. It works. Really.
I can’t say enough good things about this album. It’s full of rich, biblical truth, and tells this familiar story in a fresh way. I only have one small quibble with a phrase he uses on the first song, “Gather Round Ye Children”, where he says Jesus “gave up his pride and came here to die like a man”. Andrew is trying to convey the amazing truth that Jesus became like us, stepped down from Heaven, and died on the cross in our place. But that phrase could be seen as implying that by giving up “his pride” Jesus was prideful, and the wording of Jesus coming to “die like a man” might be a bit confusing.
All in all, though, a fantastic CD and a good resource for some special songs to sing during Advent. And the rest of the year too.
– To listen to the CD and read the lyrics click here
– To purchase and/or download the newly re-mastered CD and a live recording, click here
– iTunes download
2. “How Long?” Stuart Townend
I have yet to come across a modern song that helps articulate our longing for Jesus to return as well as this song does.
Verse two says:
“Lord, we know your heart is broken by the evil that you see, and you’ve stayed your hand of judgment for your plan to set men free. But the land is still in darkness and we’ve fled from what is right. We have failed the silent children who will never see the light”.
The chorus says:
“How long before you drench the barren land? …before we see your righteous hand? …before your name is lifted high? …before the weeping turns to songs of joy?”
The last verse declares:
“I know a day is coming when the deaf will hear his voice, when the blind will see their Savior and the lame will leap for joy, when the widow finds a husband who will always love his bride, when the orphan finds a Father who will never leave her side.”
Then the last chorus:
“How long before your glory lights the skies? …before your radiance lifts our eyes? …before your fragrance fills the air? …before the earth resounds with songs of joy?”
It’s certainly biblical to sing songs of lament and longing to the Lord. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to find a good occasion to include these kinds of songs. Advent provides a good opportunity.
– Sheet music/lyrics
– iTunes download