Behold the Lamb: Gather Round Ye Children Come

As I mentioned the other day, my very favorite Christmas album is Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ. I love it for multiple reasons. Not only is it excellent musically, but from start to finish it brilliantly tells the story of Christ’s mission of fulfilling God’s purposes of redemption, planned before the foundation of the world! Over the next few weeks, I’m going to write some reflections on the 12 tracks from this album, with the hope that we may all learn something new about Christ and His Word as we explore Peterson’s music together.

The first track is titled, “Gather ‘Round, Ye Children, Come”. Here is a video of Peterson’s performance of this song, along with the lyrics:

Gather ‘Round, Ye Children, Come

Gather round ye children come
Listen to the old, old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man
Gather round, remember now
How creation held its breath
How it let out a sigh
And it filled up the sky with the angels
Son of God, Son of Man

So sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God, but he made himself nothing
Well he gave up his pride and he came here to die
Like a man

Therefore God exalted him
to the place of highest praises
And he gave him a name above every name
That at the very name of Jesus, Son of God

We would sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God, but he made himself nothing
Well he gave up his pride and he came here to die
Like a man

So in heaven and earth and below
Every knee would bow and worship
And every tongue would proclaim
That Jesus, He reigns with the angels

So sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God but he made himself nothing
Well he gave up his pride and he came here to die
Like a man

So gather round ye children come
Listen to the old old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man

While the study of theology and the doctrines of the Christian faith is a good and necessary pursuit, it’s easy to forget that “the Gospel” is, most fundamentally, a story. It’s a news story, and one that we are called to tell to the whole world.

That doesn’t mean it has to be boring, though. In fact, the Gospel is the greatest story ever told! While the event we celebrate at Christmas is indeed one of the most momentous events of history, it would mean nothing apart from the grander story of the history of mankind’s redemption, which is told from the pages of Genesis to Revelation.

The opening track of Behold the Lamb of God is a foretaste of what is to come: what Peterson calls “The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ”. It’s a fascinating story, both for children and adults! It has all the elements of a great story; mystery, humor, conflict, love, tragedy, a hero. What makes this story the greatest, though, is that it’s all true!

Contrary to what many believe, Jesus’ birth was not the beginning of the story (though perhaps it could be called the beginning of the end). It was actually the culmination of thousands of years of anticipation! Man was hopelessly lost, separated from God by sin. But God had promised that one day a hero would come; a Redeemer who would overthrow sin and death. This Savior would be exalted above all others. Every knee would bow and ever tongue confess that He was Lord of all!

When the infant Christ was born, it was the moment for which all creation had been waiting ever since God had promised that Eve’s offspring would crush the head of the deceiver and set right what had been set wrong at the Fall (Genesis 3:15). Even now, creation is groaning and longing for the completion of the work of salvation that began with Jesus’ incarnation (Romans 8:22-23).

Jesus, who is both Son of God (Mark 1:1) and Son of Man (Mark 8:31), is the Hero of this great story. Throughout the rest of this album, we’ll learn a lot more about why the story had to unfold exactly the way that it did, and why Christ alone is worthy of all our praise — at Christmas and the rest of the year, too!

Go To Track 2: Passover Us

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