In the fall of 2012, my wife, Heidi, and I decided to write a new Christmas piece to send as a Christmas card.My wife, who is a writer as well as a musician, would write the poetry, and I would write the music.
After we decided to feature the phrase of the angel choir, “peace on earth and good will to men,” she went to work crafting a poem. She settled on the theme of Christ as the Lamb of God and the Shepherd of His people. Mixing in the imagery of lambs in the stable, she crafted a profound poem built on beautiful theological comparisons. (read the poem at the end of this post)
I went to work on the music, trying to meet several self-imposed limitations. I wanted the music to be apparent and accessible to the average reader of the “card,” but interesting and deep enough to be of interest to a college level chorus. The piece would be homophonic to emphasize the text, but would still need to be expressive so as not to be “just another straightforward piece.”
I think the result was lovely (I am admittedly biased), reverent, and thrilling.
If you love rich, multi-layered poetry; and/or if you have interest in deep expressive theology about Jesus’ incarnation (especially combined with music), “Our Lamb Is Born” would be great for your choirs.
*click here to peruse the piece: Our Lamb Is Born*
Our Lamb Is Born
Born in a manger, He came among creatures
who knew not His mission to die as my Lamb on my tree.
Suffering my shame is the only way
He can earn the position as my only hope to find
Peace on the earth and goodwill to men.
Lambs in the stable see God born as man and a Lamb
one of me, one of them, the one Shepherd.
He leads me beside the still waters.
My cup overflows with His goodness for unworthy me.
He gives peace on the earth and goodwill to men.