Faith

‘You Can’t Take the Mystery Out of Faith’

Two-time Grammy winner shares the greatest gift of Christmas

The magic, excitement, and charm of Christmas — there isn’t the perfect word to describe this season. But two-time Grammy-winning artist Matt Redman got pretty close when discussing his new album “These Christmas Lights.”

“People talk about the magic of Christmas,” the singer-songwriter told LifeZette. “But really, at the heart, it’s not magic. It’s mystery.”

The 42-year-old native of Watford, England, explained that he never planned on making a Christmas album — such traditions are more common in America. But spending time contemplating the season while writing this album (the 12th of his career) brought him closer to the Gospel.

“How can it be that God Almighty came down, became flesh and blood just like us — to rescue us? To me, that’s the greatest mystery in the universe,” he said.

“I think it’s interesting because you don’t have a lot of mystery today. You can find out everything with the touch of a button now, and scientists make so many great breakthroughs. But actually, you can’t take mystery out of life, and you can’t take mystery out of faith.”

Related: How a Christmas Pageant Revitalized My Faith

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The mysterious and solemn nature of faith is at the heart of the Christmas story — and for Redman, music is his way of inspiring others to find Christ.

“I don’t want to just tell the story. I want to help people get immersed in the story, and then pray to God from that place,” said Redman. “I loved the whole idea of getting really deeply into this theme of the Christmas story.”

“It’s been a really great adventure doing it. We went to Israel for a week and it was just an inspiring place to write from. It helps you think in a deep way about Christ being born and where He would have walked, and I think that added an extra layer to the writing.”

Despite all his success and profound closeness to the Christmas story, Redman had a tough upbringing. His dad passed away when he was just seven, and after his mother remarried, there were difficulties in the household. Redman sought out music combined with prayer to fill a void in his life.

Related: The Christmas Prep You May Have Forgotten

“The music became like my safe place,” said the singer. “It was my way of talking to God. Music became a bit of a refuge.”

“I didn’t start writing songs because I wanted to make albums or impress anyone or be out front on a stage,” Redman continued. “I started writing songs because I needed to. I entered into this whole thing out of personal necessity, really, but then I realized that if you write songs a certain way, it can reach very deeply into someone’s heart.”

Related: Sermon Spotlight: The Light of Christ Prevails

In the process of creating “These Christmas Lights,” Redman contemplated the Nativity story and the Gospel through music.

“There is a second level you can go to that’s way deeper,” he explained. “In other words — you’re telling the Nativity story, but what does that mean for you and me today?”

All of us can apply the Gospel — and the Christmas story — to our own lives. But far larger than that is that Christ’s coming to earth as an infant means our salvation from death — and that we can be united with Him in heaven.

Music that gets to the heart of this mystery is especially poignant at this time of year.

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