Today it feels like winter has arrived. It is cold, damp, and grey outside. I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies to cozy up our afternoon. With Thanksgiving over and December here, I decided it was time for some Christmas music.
I reached for one of my favorite albums, Selah’s Rose of Bethlehem.
Although not a new album, Rose of Bethlehem is still one of many Christmas albums I enjoy. When it comes to Christmas music, I don’t usually like the classics messed with and turned into something I no longer recognize. I appreciate Selah’s interpretations of classics like “What Child is This” and “Silent Night.” Their versions are interesting and fresh but are not so unique I can’t sing along too.
What I love most about Rose of Bethlehem is the gorgeous harmonies of the Selah trio. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is stirring and rich with emotion. “O Holy Night” begins with a delicate haunting quality and ends with strength and splendor.
Rose of Bethlehem also features original Christmas tunes as well. “Once Upon a Christmas” written and featuring Dolly Parton might sound like an odd pairing with Selah, but the song works. And Todd Smith’s “Mystery” remains one of my favorite “new” classics. It captures the purpose of Christ’s birth and ponders the depth of love that God must have for us to put in place such a rescue plan:
Mystery, how He came
To be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands.
Selah’s Rose of Bethlehem album points me to see the beauty not only of the cradle, but the cross. It reminds me that Jesus was “born to glorify the Father/Born to wear the thorns for me,” a truth too easily forgotten while wrapping gifts and baking holiday cookies.