For some, Christmas is a season that is always merry and bright.
For others, it is dark, cold, and difficult.
In preparing for my first Christmas album I took all things into consideration. The climate of the country I live in. The struggles I personally face, feeling “low” during the winter months, and the general controversy we all see this time of year surrounding the celebration of Christmas.
Though many people can’t get enough Santa Baby and Silver Bells, the older I get, all of that feels empty to me. So I wanted to write an album that would encourage people, like myself during the Christmas season.
One of the songs, Crimson To White, was written in a timely fashion, (on Christmas Eve of 2014 to be exact). I completed writing and arranging the remaining songs this past June. This was not only a stressful time in my own life, while I was in the middle of moving and completing the finishing touches on album #2 of The LOVE Project, but it was also a difficult time in the world. It seemed like every time you turned on the TV there was another terror attack, more minority and police brutality, more hate, more vitriol, and more sin. I am someone who cannot brush off injustice and evil easily. Some can watch the news and read updates on their phone and say, “Ah, well, that’s the world.” I read it and hear it and feel like dressing in sackcloth and covering myself in ash.
So, as I prayed and began planning just what this album was going to sound like, I read the words of the traditional Christmas Carols we hear every Christmas. What stood out to me the most was the outcry: “O Come. Come Back Lord. Come rescue us from our wicked ways. Come save us from our oppression. Come and heal our land. Heal this race of people we’ve become.”
It was apparent that the outcry of the authors of these traditional hymns was the same as my own outcry, the same as the outcry of that time; the outcry of a world begging God for a Savior; a hurting world in desperate need of LOVE.
It was in that moment that I knew the vision for the album.
For me, Christmas isn’t about Jingle Bells; Christmas means war.
Christmas is when the outcry of the human race reached the ears of the almighty God and, in His loving kindness He sent a Savior. The Savior. Jesus was born to save all of humanity. In that very act of being born, Jesus declared WAR on death. It was a bloody battle, both on the first day and the last, but Jesus fought and WON that war on our behalf.
So when I arrived at Haxton Road Studios to complete the third and final album of the Love Project, that’s the vision I communicated to the musicians working on the project with me and they were in agreement with me: Christmas is Jesus declaring war on darkness.
Now that the album is complete, I couldn’t be happier with the result as I believe we truly captured the essence of the outcry:
O come, o come Emmanuel.
Special thank you to everyone who contributed to The LOVE Project.
We did it!