Messianic prophecies, the birth of Jesus, worship of Almighty God, the promise of Jesus' return all make this Advent devotional a must have for the Christmas season or any time of year. Scripture readings set up the following song, flowing from worship of God, through the prediction of the Jewish Messiah, the Angel's appearance to Joseph, Mary and the shepherds, to Jesus' words to his disciples and His promise to return. It's a look at this timeless story that you don't normally hear at Christmas time, but that carries God's plan to it's logical next step.
The story begins with Most High God, the words of which where written by my daughter in praise of our faithful Creator. After reading prophecies concerning the promise of a Saviour there is an artistic rendering of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
Joseph's Song, with piano and guitar providing the backdrop, follows a telling of the angel's appearance.
O Little Town of Bethlehem and Away In A Manger are very simple guitar and vocal arrangements of these wonderful classics.
What Child Is This has been deemed the "spacey angel" song because of Anna's haunting background vocal supporting the familiar lyrics. Everyone's favorite: Silent Night is done with a male choir that sounds spontaneous and impromptu.
After hearing of the angel's appearance to the shepherds, there is a hearty arrangement of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Next is one of my favorites: Mary's Song. It was fun creating the music bed that carries Anna's vocals as she expresses a young Jewish maiden's heart having just given birth to the most famous of all babies born to mankind. A short yet poignant perspective on what Mary must have been thinking at this incredible thing God had done to bring Messiah into the world.
In keeping with the reality of the Biblical account, the wise men come, perhaps a couple years after, and We Three Kings is both a song of adoration and prophecy. This non-traditional version makes it seem like you are there, riding across the desert following a Middle Eastern star to a "young child" and his mother.
"In the beginning was the word" puts the whole story in perspective and what a joy it is. So Joy To the World is a song of rejoicing at this point.
Jesus didn't remain a baby, but grew to manhood to finish the job He came to accomplish. He gathered His disciples to Himself and promised to return someday. The Good News Of Christmas would not be complete without relating that, and the reading is followed by He's Comin Back, in a folk rock tradition.
Now Unto Him is the final song of the story, and is a blessing from the book of Jude.
As a bonus, and because I love this song and wanted to do it with my friend and musical compadre Ken Kotarski, the last song is a piano/vocal rendering of O Holy NIght.
I hope you enjoy listening to The Good News Of Christmas. I worked long and late on it, to get it ready for our 2008 Christmas tour. We remastered and reprinted it in 2009 prior to that year's tour and many folks tell me what a blessing it is, which is a blessing to me.
Merry Christmas to you - all year long ! It's always okay to sing about the birth of Jesus. It's always okay to love Christmas.
from Los Alamos, New Mexico