A Swell of Grace – Hope College Worship – An album of originals for the advent and Christmas seasons.
It’s difficult to ‘hear’ the story of the incarnation as we read it in scripture, and the traditional carols of the season don’t make it any easier. While the biblical narrative is filled with power struggles, political intrigue, disenfranchised refugees, and cosmic disturbances our telling veers off into sentimentalizing the stark circumstances of Christ’s earthly arrival. Last year I (Bruce) was invited to participate in a songwriting retreat encouraging the church’s musical artists to write a more honest Christmas song. One that boldly, poetically, and beautifully embraces the holy disturbances of the incarnation story.
Each year students on the worship teams at Hope produce an album of original worship music. Last fall, inspired by the retreat, I invited the students to engage a similar task – write original advent and Christmas songs that explored the narrative and emotional depths of the coming of Christ.
Our deep gratitude to the folks at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Lester Ruth, and David Taylor for their continued work encouraging the church.
Grace and Peace,
Chaplain of Worship Arts
(*Liz Vice just released a song a number of us wrote with her at the retreat mentioned above called “Refugee King“)