It is not that easy to write a Christmas song that will stick around year after year. In fact, it seems like there are many years when no new Christmas songs are recorded that will still be around 10 or 20 years from now. And of course, some will not stick around because they will just not be that popular with the masses, for whatever reason. Yet, there are some great contemporary Christmas songs. Here is my top five:
5. Joseph’s Lullaby (Mercy Me) This is one of my wife’s favorite new Christmas songs, so I included it for her (and because it is a good song). It captures well the mystery of God being a son of Joseph. Listen to it here: Joseph’s Lullaby
4. Breath of Heaven (Sara Groves) This song is similar to the first, the mother of Jesus wrestling with the mystery of the parenting of God. I chose this one over ‘Mary, Did you know’ (another great song) due to this recording by Sara Groves, which I really like: Breath of Heaven
3. Born to Die (Shane and Shane) Shane and Shane released a really good Christmas album called “Glory in the Highest” (it includes great renditions of ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ and ‘Silent Night’). This song is one that they wrote and included on that album. It captures the weighty truth that the tiny baby in the manger would one day die on a cruel cross for our sins. The story does not end in the stable. And glory be to God it does not end at Calvary either! Listen to it here: Born to Die
2. Labor of Love (Jill Phillips, Andrew Peterson) My favorite Christmas album of all is Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God.” It consists of original songs (he does a couple of instrumental covers) that tells the full story of redemption, which begins long before Jesus’ birth. Songs like ‘Passover Us’ and ‘So Long Moses’ do such a great job of telling how the Old Testament points forward to the coming of Christ. The song ‘Matthew’s Begats’ is such a creative (and fun) version of the genealogy. My favorite song on the album is ‘Labor of Love,’ sung by Jill Phillips (another great artist). Like most of the Christmas songs that I enjoy, it has a haunting melody and lyrics that capture the mystery of God being born in the flesh and spending His first night in David’s little town of Bethlehem. We often lose sight of what it would have been like for Mary and Joseph. This song communicates the earthy realness of giving birth to a child in a stable. It’s powerful. “For the girl on the ground in the dark, every beat of her beautiful heart, was a labor of love.” Listen to it here (and go out and buy the album if you do not have it): Labor of Love
1. Adorn (Alli Rogers) Of all the songs on my list, this is probably the one that you have not heard (unless they played it on Christian radio and I never heard it). I am not sure how I stumbled across it. But it is my favorite Contemporary Christmas song. The Creator of all became a man. What was it like when the Creator of the stars slept under them and the Maker of the earth walked upon it? How powerful was the moment when the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords took His first breath? Rogers writes: “There must of been a million songs written at the very moment you arrived.” I love that line. The chorus asks the simple but profound question: “How could we ever adorn you?”How could we ever give that baby the praise and devotion that He deserves? We are so unworthy of His incarnation and His perfect life and His death upon the cross for our sins. How could we ever adorn Him? Give it a listen here: Adorn
Some great songs here. Hope you enjoy them!