Next Sunday at First Baptist Church Farmersville, we will be presenting the Christmas musical “Breath of Heaven.” I am very excited about this year’s musical for a couple of reasons. First of all, I am excited about the high level of participation. We presented an open invitation for all members of the congregation in the youth group or older to come and sing in the Christmas choir. Although we have done this in the past, this year we have more youth singing than ever before. We also have several adults who are singing in choir for the first time in their lives! Additionally, there are more instrumentalists involved in the orchestra than the previous two years. We have trumpets, trombones, flutes, an alto sax, clarinet, timpani, auxiliary percussion, and a full rhythm section.
Secondly, I am very excited about the musical selections. “Breath of Heaven” is from the Ready to Sing series, and was arranged by Russell Mauldin. Russell Mauldin and his team of writers wrote four original pieces in this musical, and Mauldin also arranged some classic carols and songs. The pieces I am most excited about are “Breath of Heaven” (for which the musical is named), “Welcome To Our World,” and “At the Feet of Jesus with O Holy Night.”
“Breath of Heaven” was made famous by Amy Grant. I would consider it a Contemporary Christian Christmas classic. The opening piano line leads into a hauntingly beautiful melody sung from the perspective of Mary. It certainly captures the wonder of Christmas, as Mary sings about having to place her trust in God to guide her through the difficult journey she faced.
“Welcome to Our World” is another modern Christmas song that I would consider a classic. Chris Rice wrote the song in 1995 and first released it on the album “Deep Enough to Dream” in 1997. In typical Chris Rice fashion, each verse is carefully and poetically composed. Verse 4 and 5 almost bring me to tears every time I hear them:
“Fragile fingers sent to heal us,
tender brow prepared for thorn,
tiny heart whose blood will save us,
unto us is born.
So wrap our injured flesh around You,
breath our air and walk our sod.
Rob our sin and make us holy,
perfect Son of God.
Perfect Son of God,
welcome to our world.”
“At the Feet of Jesus with O Holy Night” is an original song composed by Sue C. Smith and David Moffitt and arranged by Mauldin. I love that it is the final song in the musical, because it is all about worship and adoration. The song connects the idea of the wise men giving gifts to the way we are compelled to give our lives to Jesus. He is the only one worthy of our praise and honor, and so we long to give him everything that we are as an act of worship!
I pray you will come to hear the musical this Sunday if you live in Farmersville! Brother Bart (who is singing in the choir!) will be preaching a gospel message and giving an invitation, so it is a great opportunity to invite friends and family as well.