A few weeks ago Katie McKinney asked Chris and I to join them (Katie and Greg, her lerve muffin) when they went to see Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ in Durham. Of course, we were excited about a day trip with the McKinney's--and a Christmas concert was a BONUS!
Chris was very excited about seeing Andrew Peterson--he really liked listening to him while we were in college. I was not as familiar with Peterson's music--it wasn't quite my style when we were in school. For some reason, I never really got into the whole Andrew Peterson, Derek Webb, Caedmon's Call, folkie hippie 90s music that my husband drools over. I liked a song or two here and there, but I prefer musicthaticanwearmyrapperordivafacethankyouverymuch.
I likes the hip hops.
BUT, I'm always game for any sort of live music situation--especially since this was a Christmas concert. And I really looked forward to going with the McKinneys--because they are so fun! And, it was a much needed break from the craziness that has been clouding our calendar since December 1st.
Prior to the concert, I peeked on Peterson's website to get a sneak peek of the playlist and only recognized one song, "Labor of Love" (which btdubs, Katie McKinney can THROW IT DOWN like no one's business when she sings that song. Snot fest like no other. Hallelujer.) So, again, no clue what I was going to listen to--and this is unlike me. The musician within me normally studies up to prime the pump (or prep the ears) prior to a concert so that I'm aware of what I'm getting myself into. I didn't have time to download and listen--so I went into the experience with no clue what to expect.
On the day of the trip, after a quick dinner at a diner (in which Katie was assaulted by straws courtesy of our waiter, Bobby), we made it to the church in time for the concert. The venue was beautiful--a newer building with some hints of old-world architecture. I'm a total sucker for exposed beams and high ceilings and stone floors.
The first part of the concert was in the round--Peterson had several musicians with him and each took a turn singing two of their personal songs. This was fun--and a neat way to showcase their individual styles of music.
And then Peterson sort of prefaced the whole Behold the Lamb of God by explaining it was 40ish minutes of nonstop music centered on the coming of Christ (and I mean, we went back to Moses and made it through the OT and the begats in Matthew and then the delivery). Don't hate on me music snobs, but it was sort of a modern-day Messiah. Peterson indicated that he wanted to bring back the excitement and wonder of this sesaon that many of us have lost over the years. He wanted to bring back the joy that we felt as children--through his music.
And he was so right. I sat in that church for 40ish minutes and never once lost interest. The story, the word choices, the musicians--all so wonderful. So special. I want to listen to it again and again and again. This was one of the most beautiful concerts I have ever listened to--fantastic. I downloaded the album this week and it has been playing over and over in our house as we prepared for this weekend.
Seriously--worth the download. Immediately.
I have considered several times this week about how we have lost the joy and magic that comes in this season. Even me, the Christmas Queen, can lose that sparkle as I dive head first into this season of obligations. I lose sight of what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I hate that it happens--and I hate why it's almost impossible to find this joy on a daily basis in April or August. Why do we wait until the holiday season to embrace it fully?
So, my challenge to all of us is to fully embrace this wonder of the Christmas season in our daily lives. To breathe in fully the goodness and mercy and love that He has shown us. To not put it away with our decorations in a few days. To not keep it in a box until next year.
But to prominently display this wonder in our hearts.