What Songs Work Well for Advent?

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is based off of the Latin word “adventus” and literally means “coming”. We are expectantly awaiting the celebration of Jesus’ coming on Christmas, and we’re expectantly awaiting his coming in glory. It’s a very cool season and provides congregations several weeks to express our cries of “how long”? Not only “how long until we can finally sing Christmas carols and open presents?” but “how long until you finally come back, Jesus?”

Two years ago I wrote some posts on songs that work well in Advent.

The first post had to do with “what to do with Advent” and some good hymns to sing. The second post had suggestions of newer, more contemporary songs that work congregationally. The third post had a couple of songs that worked as special/not congregational songs.

Here are some other songs I’ve become aware of that might work during Advent.

Soon (Brooke Ligertwood)
– Slow, tender song about when we will finally see Jesus
– Either a congregational song or a solo, but probably better as a solo
– “Soon and very soon, my King is coming, clothed in righteousness and crowned with love…”
– You can listen to the whole song, read the lyrics, and download the music here

All to Us (Redman/Maher/Reeves/Tomlin)
– Slow/midtempo song
– Either as a congregational song or a solo
– The recorded key of C is too high. I find A to be better
– “We are waiting on you, Jesus”. “When this passing world is over, we will see You face to face…”
– You can listen to the whole song, read the lyrics, and download the sheet music for free here

We Belong to the Day (Mike Morrow)
– Midtempo song
– Either as a congregational song or a solo
– “We belong to the day, to the day that is to come when the night falls away and our Savior will return…”
– Bob Kauflin featured this song on Worship Matters in June and linked to free downloads of the recording and the music

How Long? (The Reckoning) (Andrew Peterson)
– An upbeat song of lament/longing for Jesus to return
– From his excellent CD, “Counting Stars”
– Would work as a special (not congregational) song
– “How long until this curtain is lifted? How long is this the song that we sing? How long until the reckoning?”
– Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition featured this song last year. Click here to listen to the song and read the lyrics.

God With Us (Jamie Brown)
– Slow song
– OK, I wasn’t going to share this song because (a) the recording is awful and (b) I don’t want to push my own stuff. But, hey it’s free, you don’t have to like it, and it it’s helpful, then great
– The verses describe different people and situations that look hopeless, but actually “God with us”, Jesus, is right there in the middle
– Would work as a special (not congregational) song
– A female vocalists should sing the response part in the chorus. But again, this recording is so bad, from several years ago, that I tried to take care of both parts
– The lyrics are below the audio player

In the long, cold winter of waiting,
Every day a new door is closed
No job for so long and no money
Every letter, every call, a new “no”
God with us

She has cried, she has prayed for a husband
Still she lies in her bed all alone
Every Christmas, every birthday, every morning
Every baby – another one that’s not her own
God with us

Surely he has borne our griefs (God with us)
He has carried all our sorrows (God with us)
His chastisement brought us peace (God with us)
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
God with us

He has lost his ability to fight it}
It has stained every corner of his mind
He is drowning in the darkness in private
Every click – a step back from his bride
God with us   (chorus)

The baby in her womb is not her husband’s
They have fled from their home to hide
But she believes what the angel told her
That she would bear the Son of the Most High: God with us

Surely he will bear our griefs (God with us)
He will carry all our sorrows (God with us)
His chastisement will bring us peace (God with us)
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
God with us

Jamie Brown. © 2011 Worthily Magnify Music. CCLI Song # 6026949.


A Song for Those Who Are Waiting On the Lord

A few Saturday evenings ago as I was thinking about the songs I’d be leading the next morning, I began to get a strong sense that God wanted me to share a song of encouragement after “Everlasting God” for people who have been waiting for an answer from him for a very long time. Sometimes this kind of nudge happens in the moment, and so I attempt to convey a prophetic impression of God’s heart on-the-spot. This time, I was grateful that the Holy Spirit was giving me advance notice, and so I jotted down some quick lyrics and had them on my music stand the next morning in case it felt right.

When we ended “Everlasting God” I took a moment to discern how I felt the Holy Spirit leading me, and I went ahead and sang this song. The tune and music were just simple and improvised.

I’ve included a recording and the lyrics below. I hope and pray that these words might be an encouragement to you too.

I am the God who formed the earth
I am the One who gave you life
I knew you long before your birth
And I have never left your side

I know your doubts, I know your fears
I know you’re weary from all the years
You’ve waited for an answer
You’ve prayed with all your heart
You’ve wondered if I hear you
You’ve stared into the dark

I am the everlasting God
I am your Father
I’ve redeemed you through my son
He bore your burden
He knew your pain
He intercedes for you
He prays for you by name

And I will do what’s best for you, my love
I will work my perfect will, and I will lift you up
I am always faithful and I am always good
You don’t always see it but it is always true

Don’t listen to the lies the Devil says
He is the accuser and I have conquered him
You are my beloved and I am in control
You can’t always see it but I am on the throne

One day you will see that I have worked
All things for my glory and all things for your good
One day you will see me as I am
Your Everlasting Father, and your never failing friend

And I know you don’t always understand
But I give you a promise: your Father has a plan
Jesus gives you access. The Spirit gives you strength
I love you and I’m with you and will hold you while you wait

Come You Sinners

Last weekend in our services I shared a song that I wrote called “Come You Sinners”. I’m always hesitant to share my own songs on here, but several people were helped by it, so I thought I’d pass it along in the event that it’s helpful to you or your congregation. I borrowed two lines from the old hymn “Come Ye Sinners“, and one line from Augustine’s Confessions in the chorus.

Here are the lyrics and a very rough demo that I recorded for the worship team at my church.

Come, you sinners, poor and needy
Come behold your Savior’s face
Full of love and rich in mercy
Hands outstretched with endless grace

Nothing you have done has earned it
Full atonement, vast and free
Nothing you can do can change it
Rest on Jesus’ victory

Our hearts are restless till we find our rest in You
Our lives are hopeless till we find our hope in You
Jesus, You are my life
Jesus, I give my life to You

Come you weary, heavy laden
Burdened under shame and sin
There is never condemnation
When your life in Christ is hid (chorus)

There is no one else to turn to
He will guide you all your days
His perfect love is perfect for you
Trust in Jesus’ saving grace (chorus)
Jamie Brown. © 2011 Worthily Magnify Music. Affiliated with CCLI.

Beautiful Baby Boy

I’ve had several people email me and/or leave a comment asking for the lyrics and chords to the song I mentioned in my last post, “Beautiful Baby Boy”. I’m happy to offer both below.

I wrote this song last year during the Christmas season. I was (obviously) inspired by our daughter Megan who had just been born, marveling at her beauty and preciousness. When Jesus was born I’m sure Mary marveled at the same things. He was a real baby with a pudgy face and soft little lips, after all!

But he was more than a beautiful baby. He was the perfect Lamb of God who, one day, would be offered as a sacrifice in our place, securing our eternal peace with God.

Chord chart

Beautiful Baby Boy
His tiny little hands will be nailed to a tree
His precious little feet will be pierced through for me
And his soft little lips will bless and forgive
Oh beautiful baby boy

His tiny little chest will be whipped and flogged
His precious little head will be stained with his blood
And his soft little cry will beg for my life
Oh beautiful baby boy

Oh beautiful baby boy. Oh holy Lamb of God
Away in a manger lies our perfect sacrifice
Oh beautiful baby boy

His tiny little eyes will seek out the poor
His precious little arms will welcome the whore
And his soft pudgy face is the image of grace
Oh beautiful baby boy

And we were dead in our sins, and we were lost on our own
And we were children of wrath, and we were all without hope
But God rich in mercy, but God great in love
But God full of kindness gave us His only Son

And his soft pudgy face is the image of grace
Oh beautiful baby boy
Written by: Jamie Brown. © 2009 Worthily Magnify Music. Affiliated with CCLI.

You Can Come to Me

This past Sunday afternoon I led about 30 minutes of worship in song at the beginning of an afternoon healing service at my church. These services usually have three elements: singing, teaching, and then an open-ended time of prayer ministry.

After we had sung two songs, I had an impression from the Lord that there were several people who, because of feelings of condemnation or fear, were reluctant to “draw near to God” (James 4:8). So I sang a spontaneous song, conveying God’s heart that people draw near to him through Jesus Christ. Several people asked me for the words afterwards, and I thought I’d share the song on here in the event that this is an encouragement to you.

Why do you stand far away from me?
Why do you stand in fear?
I have made a way for you to come to me
And I am waiting here

There is no sin I did not bear
There is no sin that I did not take to the grave
But I rose again, I rose again
And I am your risen Savior

And you can come to me
Yes, you can come to me
And my grace is free
Poured out on Calvary

Why do you stand under the weight of condemnation?
There is none in Christ.
Why do you look on the old things?
For I give you new life

And you can come to me
You can come to me right now
‘Cause my grace is free, freely given
Poured out on Calvary

Unending love, unending grace, unending mercy
For you
Free for you

You can come to me
I will wash you clean
Don’t stand far from me
Come close. I am here