I wrote this song for Advent this past year. It is probably the most theologically dense song I’ve ever written, and it was a challenge to keep up with the weighty concepts I was attempting to communicate. I had to make sure I was using the right words to convey the idea I wanted, but also to make sure that what I was saying was worded in a way that didn’t miscommunicate the theology, as well as making sure it all sounded good aesthetically. Tricky!
Of course, with all the heady theology of the song, it was also important to me that it be engaging on an emotional level. I didn’t want this to be simply a recitation of theological tenets, but a call to the heart of the believer. I was reading through the prophecies of Isaiah in preparation for writing this song, and felt that my job for this song was to be the one “who brings good news, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.'” That chapter (Isaiah 52) begins with summons to God’s people, one which I included, only slightly reworded, as the bridge for this song.
put on your strength, O Zion;
put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
Shake yourself from the dust and arise;
be seated, O Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
I’ve never had quite as specific a purpose as I felt laid on my heart for this song. It’s anomaly for me in many ways, but my prayer was (and is) that it would stir in people’s hearts, including my own, a reawakened fervor as they heard sung over them the miraculous truths of all God did for us in the incarnation.