Behold The Lamb Of God: Tour Reflections

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I’m on a plane flying home after the last date of the Behold The Lamb of God tour. I’m tired (to the point that I fear I’m not up for writing this post–forgive me if it meanders…), excited to see my family who I miss so much, and I’m filled with a gratitude that warms my heart even as I return to the cold Minnesota winter.

The common sentiment I heard night after night from countless people after the show was that they felt like “Christmas can begin now.”  And it’s no wonder. Andrew Peterson’s Behold The Lamb Of God may be his masterpiece–a remarkable Christmas record that quietly defies all of the conventions of what we’ve been taught to expect from a Christmas recording, eschewing sentimental favorites in favor of a wholly original work that is a potent reminder of what happened 2000 years ago and still has the whole world talking.

If you, reader, have never heard this record, do yourself a favor: stop reading and order it right now. This isn’t just another Christmas record.  Nor was it just another Christmas tour.

For those not familiar with it, Behold The Lamb Of God: The True Tall Tale of The Coming Of Christ takes us on a journey through the ages to reveal how the Old Testament is as much about the coming of Jesus as the New Testament is, from Abraham, Moses, the kings and prophets, all the way to the young girl in a shabby stable giving birth to the Hope of all mankind. That I got to be a part of the “telling” of this story night after night is one of the more meaningful things I’ve gotten to be a part of.

Each night began with an artist in the round segment where Andrew introduced us as his friends, bragging a bit on each of us individually before inviting us to play a couple of songs. This is very generous of Andrew – it’s his night, the people are there to see him, and he doesn’t have to share the evening with anyone, and yet night after night he gives most of the evening away to his friends and their songs and stories.

As a fan who often attended the show, the artist in the round segment was my favorite part of the night, though that’s not necessarily how everyone feels. Andrew told me “I know some people don’t enjoy the artist in the round part as much as others, but I feel that it’s good for them, like I’m giving them their vegetables.”

As the tour went on, the beautiful balance of it revealed itself to me.

As I said, the evening starts with each solo artist introducing and playing one of their songs before passing it to the next artist, two times through. Ben Shive kicked it off, followed by Andy Osenga, then myself, Jill Phillips, and Andy Gullahorn, before going back to Ben for another round.

You should know that these artists are my heroes and that every night I marveled at my good fortune to get to share the stage with these people whose voices have sung to me the grace of God in times when I’ve desperately needed it. None of them get much if any radio airplay and work in relative obscurity, yet they are among the best at what they do – their work marked not only by the excellence of their craft, but the generosity, courage, and humility of their spirit.

And it’s their generosity and courage that moved me most and that I want to talk about here. They sang of hope and grace, yes, but always in the face of their fear, shame, and doubt, exposing the places where their hearts have been broken. They didn’t have to do this, risking such vulnerability, returning to their wounds, but they did this night after night, naming the broken places for the healing of those who would receive it.

Andy Osenga would sing like he was opening a vein:

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
I did what I planned to do
And I feel like I knew I’d feel
But I want to come back to you…

Jesus you’ll have to come get me
Cause it’s too far to walk from here.”

Jill and Andy together singing of the lowest point in their marriage that was tested to the breaking point:

“Gaining back the trust we lost
was harder than just losing it
But if we wanted change at all
The pain was a prerequisite

Little by little, one piece at a time
We were putting back together what was left of a broken life
It wasn’t quick, it wasn’t easy
But that kind of change doesn’t happen overnight…

I wouldn’t have it any other way
No I wouldn’t have it any other way…”

I am moved to tears even in the remembering of it now as I write.

And then Ben Shive would sing what is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite songs–a song about death called “A Last Time For Everything”–which he introduced each night by talking about how he realized that one day there would be a last funeral.

“It will be like any other funeral. Nobody in attendance will know it, but it will be the last one. And I like thinking that this is how death will pass from existence: with no fanfare to dignify its passing.”

And then with a touch of his fingers to the piano that is distinctly his, he would sing one of the saddest and loveliest melodies I’ve heard.

“You need to look death in the eye, in the eye…
You need to see that he’s afraid to die, he’s afraid to die
But you my love…

You’re going to wake up soon
In your lonely room
To the sound of a singing bird
Throw the curtains back
To find your bags already packed
And the cab is at the curb

And like a bad dream
Unreal in the morning light
So will the world seem
When you see it in the mirror for the last time

There is a last time, a last time for everything”

Every night these words of my heroes, my friends would kindle the fire in my heart, to keep it warm and soft to the touch.

The artist in the round was bookended by Andrew Peterson himself singing his beautiful songs “Dancing In The Minefields” about marriage and “The Reckoning” with its longing for the return of Christ who will set all things right and make everything new.

It occurred to me toward the end of the tour how inspired the flow of the evening was–how the first part with our stories of hope, grace, and all that we long for in the face of all of our shame, fear, and doubt asks the questions that God answers so completely and kindly with the mystery and beauty of the Incarnation, God with us, breaking into the run down tenement hall of our humanity to take us to the home that we’ve never seen but that we know is real if only because of our homesickness.

The shame of our sin, the struggles we’ve known, the fear of death are all answered by: Emmanuel. “Gather round, ye children, come and listen to the old old story…”

The last night of the tour, Todd Bragg (drummer, tour manager extraordinaire, and one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with) prayed over our last dinner together before the show. “Lord, we thank you that we get to tell this story…” his voice cracking with emotion, halting as we waited in pregnant silence, the words we all waited on gathering weight and depth. “It’s a good one.”

Amen.


60 Comments

  1. Alyssa

    BTLOG is one album that fills my chest with a sweet ache upon every listen, whether I hear it live on the tour or playing from the tinny speaker on my iPod. There’s a kinship in the collaborative work and in the invitation to “gather round” that chases away all melancholy and loneliness. It is always one of the greatest pleasures of the Christmas season for my family. God bless you, Jason Gray and Square Pegs and Rabbit Roomers all. Merry Christmas.

  2. Bob T

    What a beautiful reflection of an incredible group of artists who faithfully use God’s own gift of music to tell His timeless story. Thanks for coming to Richmond, BTLOG’ers. You made our Christmas.

  3. Brian

    I have long been a fan of Andrew Peterson ever since I first heard the mountains sing hallelujah and through his music I’ve come to love that of the others. My wife and I bought Behold the Lamb of God at a concert in Little Rock a few years ago and have deeply loved the work ever since. Though we have yet to be able to make it to a BtLoG tour show, we hope to do so next year (or sometime soon).

  4. JJ

    Thanks for sharing that Jason. If I see one common thread among all of these amazing musicians and storytellers, it’s humility. Are you all great singers, songwriters, authors and artists? Absolutely. But you are all very aware of your weaknesses. I think that’s what draws me so much to the art of so many of you and to this community. You’re not afraid to pour out your deepest and darkest secrets for us all to hear, knowing that your secrets are ours as well. You don’t pretend to have it all together or to try and convince your fans that you’re the pinnacle of Christian maturity. You’re just regular men and women, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, trying, and sometimes failing, to love those closest to you, and above all longing to honor and glorify God in all that you do.

    Thank you all for your humility. God gives grace to the humble, and I have experienced that grace through your work.

  5. Connie Solomon

    “It’s a good one”-Amen. Loved this piece and the timing. I get to go with Full Circle Refuge to all the long term youth detention centers and and a couple of other facilities in GA & share the “Story” in Dec with food, fun & fellowship and last night was the last event for me this year. I know I need the rest & time to prepare for our family Christmas together but I can’t help replaying all the young faces sometimes smiling and laughing and other times deeply serious as they contemplated their situation in the light of the “Story”. I am soo thankful for what you all do in kindling the fire in our hearts ‘to keep it warm and soft to the touch.” so that we can go where God leads and give testimony to His great gift of love. Blessings

  6. Jud

    Heh, I know a few of those in-the-round = “vegetables” people. Too bad they’re just wrong. Having just discovered you this year, hearing a few of your tunes was the highlight for me.

    Well, that and Osenga’s super-high oohs and aahs during “The Theme Of My Song”. Details like that are just magical.

  7. Shane

    Jason, I don’t have many fancy words to reply with. My wife, my daughter, and I saw you in Wichita Falls for the 2nd to last show of the trip. We were simply awestruck by the message and the music.

    The gang you were with may be heros to you (and to us), but you definitely fit right in on the stage with them. “Deliver Us” is one of my favorite songs on BTLOG and you sang it beautifully.

    I looked on my iTunes to see how many times I had played BTLOG since I added the album to my library last December… 127 times (I do listen to my iPod all day every day at work…). I’ve said this other places and to other people… It’s not just another Christmas album. It’s a JESUS album and it fits all year. It is a haunting and beautiful reminder of the desperate, unfailing, fierce love our wonderful Maker has for us.

    Thanks for being part of the tour and making the album come alive for us this year. This was our first BTLOG concert. We have already decided that it is now a yearly family tradition for as long as you guys are willing to put it on.

  8. Joy C

    Jason,

    Could you tell us the name of Andy Osenga’s song which you quote here? I’d like to play it for the incarcerated women I minister to. The second and third songs you quoted are beautiful too, though probably too raw for them, where they’re at… But that first one they would hear.
    And I do play them BTLOG each year.
    Bless you. Joy

  9. Kelly

    It’s hard to relate to people who don’t know it that it really is that wonderful. I had to miss this year’s concert due to sickness in the family, and I still get a little pain in my chest when I remember that I wasn’t there. I think I love the first half the best — the “vegetables” — my husband nearly broke my heart when he reported that the Andys had sung “I’m On Your Side” here in Charlotte.

    I’ll be pumping my children full of vitamins and sanitizing the house all fall next year to insure that we are all there in 2011. Merry Christmas to all of you, and thank you for being faithful witnesses to the miracle of the coming of Christ.

  10. Another Andy

    Jason, thanks so much for sharing these reflections. I also live in the freezing cold of Minnesota, but it’s starting to grow on me…One of the things I appreciate the most about the RR is the depth of personal vulnerability that each author/artist/songwriter shares with a random community of fans (and wannabes like me). Thank you so much for blessing other artists who need inspiration and hope amidst so much death. Bless you and your family in the new year.

  11. Mrs S D Smith

    Pretty articulate for a meander-er, Jason. I’m a little teary, just thinking about the night we heard BTLOG. This year was our first, and it was a precious time for us, but what I loved most about it was how it resonated with our children. Seeing them understand the story early on in their little lives makes me so very happy. They were riveted. I am greatly appreciative of all of you, but more so of your families, who give up some of these precious days before Christmas so that their loved ones can bless so many others along the way. That’s sacrificial giving and I am thankful.

  12. Bobby

    I like both halves best! The show in Nashville is becoming my annual birthday present from my wife. I love everything about it. I love hearing the artist showcase their own songs. I look forward to hearing what each one has been wrestling with over the previous year. I love hearing Andrew brag on each artist and tell stories of their relationship. I think the in the round section could be called the “buy in”. This year I brought a bunch of people who are important to me. I watched my friends, pastor, parents, etc. fall for this group of talented friends. Then I love hearing those songs that, in my mind, have changed Christmas forever.

  13. J Aquila

    My wife and I love going to see this tour. This year was the first we couldn’t make a show, after three years of attending, and inviting new friends to experience it for the first time. Their admission was our Christmas present to them, but the music always was the true blessing.

    What i love about the tour is how genuine the players are. The round performances make the audience feel like they are catching up with friends, rather than with artists, hired to perform. Each year also introduces you to a new friend’s music, and that is worth the price of admission itself, Wish I could have made Jason Gray acquaintance this year.

    Earlier this summer, I got to hang out with Andrew, Ben and Andy for lunch. Andrew was promoting “Counting Stars” for our local Pulse FM, and I told him how much of a blessing the Christmas tour is. He told me I needed to attend the stop at the Ryman sometime, to get the ultimate Behold experience. How cool was he to do that? A personal invite to travel from South Bend to Nashville, and experience the tour in one of his favorite stops! That’s the kind of artist Andrew Peterson is … a really honest friend who loves the fact that people come to see him play and experience Christ during the show.

    I’ll forever be touched when I see Andrew and the traveling band of artists perform the Behold tour. Looking forward already to seeing how close you guys come to northern IN in 2011.

  14. Adam Bennett

    Thanks for this post Jason! There are very few records that are as dear to me as BTLOG and as proof, it has been on repeat on the iPod for the past month. I love it not for how good it is (and man… is it good), but because of how eloquently it tells the story, the best story. Brings me to tears just thinking about the songs. I haven’t had the pleasure of going to a BTLOG show (yet), but can’t imagine what an amazing and blessed experience it must have been for you to play night after night with them.

    But now that you’re playing with them, I’m hoping you can use your new found influence to bring a show closer to MN next year. All this snow and cold is fun… really! That or you can buy a 6.5 ft long suitcase and I’ll just hid in there while you tour around. I promise I won’t eat much. 🙂

  15. Ben

    I saw the Ryman show this year for my second time. My first time, two years ago, was hallmarked by my discovery of new names and their accompanying songs and voices. I *think* it was there that I first heard of The Rabbit Room. This time was about simply enjoying the story. A masterpiece indeed.

    Second only to the story itself was my visit to The Rabbit Room’s merchandise table. To my joyfully tearful surprise, I was able to secure an “Old Jack” mug. (We were destined to be together.) Like a kid in a candy store, I was also tempted to buy a book so I considered a couple of the Wangerin titles. Then I saw a few copies of “The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic” sitting on the end of the table–far beyond my reach, with throngs of people between me and them. I remembered the Proprietor’s gushing review of the book and decided it would be a good book for my kids and I to read now that we’ve finished “North, Or be Eaten!” The attendant politely asked me if I needed anything in addition to the mug so I said, “I think I want the Mount Majestic book,” and pointed toward it. She replied, “Oh good. That one’s mine.” She then kindly signed it for my three children. Thank you, Jennifer! It’s waiting for them under the tree, but it’s all I can do to stop myself from ripping the paper off and getting a head start!

  16. Matt

    I have loved BTLOG for years, and have shared it in the churches I’ve served since 2004. Since coming across Andrew’s music one day, I’ve come to follow nearly all of the square pegs and their music… and each time I delve into another one’s offerings, I am deeply, deeply moved.

    You are ALL a blessing too rich for words… to the church… and to the hearts and minds of people who long for connection to the One who created them. Your lyrics are perfect… perfect… with a depth that settles into my soul and “lives and moves and breathes” with me.

    All that said, despite my efforts, I’ve never seen any of you live! And so, I have two thoughts: First, I’m seriously contemplating taking a month away from the church and following next year’s tour – maybe I’ll get a VW Vanagon, even. And secondly, I am so excited to be part of hosting Jason this coming May (http://www.statetheatrebaycity.com/events_details.cgi?SOW=1&Autoincrement=000404)

    May God bless you all this Christmas

  17. Mike

    Joy C –

    The Andrew Osenga song is “Too Far to Walk”, from his “Photographs” CD.

    Another song that he co-wrote is “After the Last Tear Falls”, on Andrew Peterson’s “Love and Thunder” CD. I have read about how this song has had a profound effect in women’s prison ministry; you might give that one a listen as well.

  18. Dan Foster

    I haven’t made it to a BtLoG show, EXCEPT, just this Monday night the high school chorus at our Christian school performed it. They did a very admirable job. I’d heard the kids weren’t crazy about the music (frankly, it just wasn’t written for a high school chorus), but they still pulled it off. The two girls doing Labor of Love really nailed it. The guys that did Matthew’s Begats and It Came to Pass took a little more comedic turn with it, but it worked.

    So my buddy the Headmaster, knowing that Begats is my favorite song and they did it as a comedy, made a joke at the end of the concert that called me out by name. I, thus, in talking to folks afterwards, had to explain how I think that Matthew’s Begats is the great transition point of the album and is so wonderful because it shows how God was in charge all along, always preparing to send his redeemer. It brings a tear to my eye (execept it didn’t at the concert, I was laughing, and that was fine).

    So, with all that explaining, I figured I’d lost the magic of it and when listening to the album in my car this morning, it wouldn’t have the same effect. Wrong, I still cried when I heard Matthew’s Begats. Not because Andrew is clever, but because God didn’t leave us calling out for a deliverer.

  19. Profile photo of Ron Block

    Ron Block

    @ronblock

    Having participated in the Ryman show for quite a few years I can say that BTLOG is one of the events I most look forward to every year. It isn’t just the music, though that is high-level. A feeling of cooperation, community, permeates the whole thing. I get to engage in great God-conversations with various people. The Holy Spirit shines at BTLOG because Christ is preached, and not human self-effort or self-improvement. It is a bunch of human beings who know that without Christ, without the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, without the Holy Spirit, we are doomed to live life at a self-loving level (no matter how good our self-love looks to others); apart from Christ, we are doomed to be subhuman. Preach Christ in that atmosphere; gratefulness and thanksgiving abound. Christ is magnified, recognized, worshipped, and He responds to that by giving tangible evidence of “I will never leave you or forsake you.” As a result, we all glow with the reality of who we are in Him, and who He is in us.

  20. Korbin S

    This year was my first year ever attending a BTLOG tour…I had the privilage to see you in Topeka, and I just want to say thank you so much for letting us into your lives…and letting us go on the journey of Christ with you!!!

  21. Jeff Lane

    This was my first time to attend…….What words can describe he feeling of sitting there awestruck by the pure poetic sounds that come from these artists. Truly the music, the words the anointing, orchestrated by the Holy spirit himself. The overwhelming desire to stand and to shout to God almighty “he is Lord.” The silence of the audience in not knowing what to do when a song is finished…the smattering of applause at first then the amens and “Oh My” and deep gasps of holding back tears to keep from being a blubbering fool in the audience till it finally gives way and tears start to flow and you see the white flashes of Kleenex and the indiscreet wiping of tears by big burly men…myself included……when I came back from the show and was asked by family a friends how was it?….silence falls and I simply say “I cannot describe it in words” you have to come with me next year. I hope there is a venue large enough for all the people I will be bringing to see and hear ” Behold The Lamb Of God”.

    Thank you Jason for your music and sharing the gift, as well everyone else you shared the stage with.

    Merry Christmas

  22. Leanore

    Thank you, Jason, and all the rest, for taking time for thoughtful posts during this really busy time. They’re an opportunity for quiet reflection, and they fill up some of the empty places where joyful celebrations of previous years are missing. You pour so much into these pages. Thank you for sharing yourselves and your experiences of Christ through the season.

  23. Jon Dostert

    This was the first year my wife and I got to see BTLOG tour. We saw the last show of the tour. It was nothing less than wonderful. In many ways transcendent. My wife promised that she was going to get the whole family to come next year, indeed.

  24. Joy C

    Mike,

    You’ll chuckle at this: It was “my” prison that AP came into in Apr 06 and played After the Last Tear Falls. His written account of the experience was quite moving. Yes, we love the song and his music. And thanks for the AO song info! Merry Christmas. Joy

  25. Kaitlyn

    I saw Andrew at the beginning of November and Ben sang that song. It was haunting and beautiful, and dang it…it broke my heart. In the best way a song can break your heart.

    I’m glad you got the wonderful opportunity to be a part of something that ushers Christmas in in all of the right ways. Merry Christmas, Jason!

  26. mm

    Jason — sure would like to see some video or audio on your website or this one (or YouTube) of the new song of yours, the one about saying God’s name with every breath we take! Like the Nashville reviewer said, it was breath-taking!! So glad you were in this year’s tour — blessings to you and yours.

  27. Jennifet

    Loved it this year. Love it every year. It always makes me catch my breath. What a story!
    And I love the songs in the round. This year it seemed especially great.
    It was great meeting you this year. You were a great “professor of the dark arts.”

  28. UTR Dave

    I just want to say… thank you Jason Gray. Thank you that you are the kind of person and artist that allows God to speak to you through the art of your friends. I have similar feelings toward every BTLOG participant. I can only imagine the temptation to “perform” the original songs and BTLOG presentation, see the emotion in the audience, and chalk it up as a “God moment.” Maybe that happens sometimes. But I can tell that you, Jason, and the other artists aren’t just performers and leaders… you are participants. You open your hearts for God to touch you, move you, compel you… even in the midst of a “stage” atmosphere.

    Maybe you guys realize this already…. but if not…. THAT IS REALLY REALLY REALLY SPECIAL! Thank you for your vulnerability – not just in ‘sharing’ on stage, but also in the softness to RECEIVE what God has for you through the experience. TRULY SPECIAL!

  29. Becky from NE

    BTLOG has become a tradition for my friend and I; my friend, my sister, my brother’s family and I; my friend my sister, my brother’s family, my sister’s family and I. Every year the number of the obsessed continues to grow.

    “A Last Time for Everything” was one of the highlights for me this year, also. I love that it takes something very commonplace, and shows it to me in a different way than I had ever thought about it before. I think that the really great artists see things in the world that other people miss, and are able to communicate their vision in such a way that others see it, too. That’s one of the things I love most about BTLOG. Everyone on that stage opens up a little window in the world that I hadn’t noticed was there before. That’s a rare thing to find, and the reason I keep coming back. That, and Andy G. cracks me up.

    You are our new family favorite, Jason. Thanks for being part of something that changes the hearts and lives of those who hear.

  30. Duane

    Jason, thanks for posting this. I have seen BTLOG several times over the years and it is always moving. Sad it didn’t make it to Michigan this year. Awesome that Andy O. sang that song. I can feel the power of it while reading this post.

    Have a Merry Christmas! (Any plans on Jason Gray coming to Michigan?)

  31. Paul M.

    Unfortunately I missed the show this year, but went from 2007-2009. It really feels like something is missing, yet I have the CD to spin, yet it’s not the same. Last year my wife and I were weeping by the end of the show and could not speak on the drive home as we were completely overwhelmed by His presence. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget. That is what my heart wants this year. a moment that is moved by His presence. Thanks Andrew and the wonderful musicians who share the only story that really matters. Next year we will be there for sure!

  32. luaphacim

    I echo your sentiments, but you left out one of my favorite parts: Jason Gray’s beautiful, powerful songs about weakness and reliance on our merciful Savior.

    BtLOG is an amazing tour, and in my humble opinion, you made it even better!

  33. Bruce Hennigan

    jason, both of your songs blessed me beyond words. My son, Sean, gave me tickets to the last concert as a Christmas present and to sit in the audience with you guys and listen and worship and reflect on God’s Story was the BEST present ever. Thank you and Andrew and Jill and Ben and Andy and Andy Osenega (as the man sitting behind us pronounced it!) for putting aside your friends and family this time of year to bring us into worship of the one true King. Blessings and have a Mighty Christmas!

  34. Dieta

    Jason Gray, I remian, nearly speechless. I love that Andrew calls the in the round vegetables. I love that you had such a great time. I love love love your writing. And I love the telling of the coming of Christ through this music,. It sets things for me during advent in a way nothing else can. I am so grateful that my sweet husband has been asked to be part of the Ryman show for so many years. It adds something to my Christmas experience I can’t even describe. Love all you guys.

  35. Paul Capps

    Our band put this show on last Christmas at our church with the help of four local string players. We couldn’t have done it without the amazing arrangements provided by Mr. Shive (and available at the RR store!) We enjoyed playing it and I know the congregation got a lot out of it, but we the players and singers were the true recipients. There is not much that brings a team together than doing something as honest as this. I yearn for Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1 so that we can do for Easter what has been done for Christmas through this kind of work. Keep up the good work…it’s good indeed.

  36. Ashley Elizabeth

    I’ve read through your post four times now. I’m a writer, I should have words for all the things that well up within me during and after BTLOG. I’m convinced the round is the closest thing to Glory we’ll see on this side.

  37. Sheila

    Disappointed that I would not be able to make a BTLOG show this year but so grateful for the CD and stories shared by these real, humble, amazing and talented artists. Jason, thanks for giving me such a visual description to add to my listening pleasure.

  38. mike bates

    Thanks to God who gives great gifts and skills to artists. Thanks to the artists who use those gifts for the Glory of God. Seeing the BTLOG in Wichita Falls, Tx. brought to mind peering through a telescope for the first time. What is seen distantly with the naked eye becomes much closer with the amplification. You dear folks brought Heaven a little closer with your extraordinary talents and obvious Love for our Savior. Thank you and Merry Christmas to all.

  39. Pracades

    I missed the tour this year too due to family conflict and my heart still aches just a little. Just doesn’t feel quite like Christmas without it. I have been going since the tour began, in fact I think I was there the very first year, and I never tire of it. I think the “in the round” keeps it fresh for me–fresh garden vegetables, the very best kind! Every year has been just a little bit different and each year has brought out a few different artists, which makes it fun too. I get to be introduced to new and wonderful artist, what a beautiful reflection of community you are all. A lovely model of the body of Christ. Jason, you are a great addition, an original! Thanks for the reflections and Merry Christmas.

  40. ScottG.

    Jason,

    Thanks for putting into words what is hard to articulate. We were at the last show on the tour, Corsicana, Texas. The show is more than just a concert–it’s a corporate worship experience and a glimpse of what is yet to come, the joy of fellowship as we worship our King. The informal setting makes for a “comfortableness” even among people who have never met and that, too is a picture of the new creation. All of the show’s parts come together to make a beautiful whole so it would be hard to separate anything out.

    You sang one of my 7 year old son’s favorite songs during the BTLOG portion of the show; during the intro music he turned to me a said, “Dad, this one is called ‘Deliver Us’!” Your talents and gifts are evident–thanks for sharing with us and helping to create a special memory for our family.

    Merry Christmas!

  41. The Uninhabited Man

    Jason,

    I got to see BTLOG for the first time in my life on the last night of the tour this year in Corsicana. It was an absolutely amazing experience, but your song about the name of God being the sound of our breathing truly grabbed my heart and mind. I barely slept over the next 24 hours as I thought about that concept, and the awe-inspiring and humbling nature of thought. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us.

    May you always be richly blessed in your work,
    Eric

  42. Rachel from NE

    Music, done with the Spirit’s leading, grants a glimpse into the soul. I told a friend a couple years ago that, for me, the “music has gone silent”. I am hearing music again, and I am grateful. My favorite song was “Yahweh”. It reminds me of the quote from Isaiah, upon seeing a glimpse of God’s glory… “…I am undone.” I most appreciate the spirit with which you all open your souls to us. Thank you.

  43. Ray P.

    I just got back from BTLOG about an hour ago. I’ve seen it a number of times from the Belcourt days, Rockettown, Ryman and a tour stop or two along the way. I’ve seen it a lot until last year. My wife and I moved to Branson, MO and we weren’t near Nashville anymore and the tour wasn’t near either. Anyways we have missed it. We still play it regularly on our ipods and draw near as the lyrics beckon. Tonight was a different experience. We were at a sweet humble church in town that put it on. No bells or whistles. Certainly no artists in the round but it was awesome. It was awesome because it’s true. It was four or five musicians who allowed their sincere demeanors to communicate the strong and esteeming message of the coming of Christ. I always love to see Andrew and the rest put the show on but I found myself really grateful tonight for nothing more than the message it brought. Praise God.

  44. Jim W

    Last Sunday afternoon, our family (two college-aged children, my wife and I) drove three hours from Houston to Corsicana, Texas to see the final 2010
    BTLOG tour event. (While the Houston venue would have been a lot closer, it was sold out, but the 6 hour roundtrip to Corsicana was well worth it). This was our son’s third BTLOG, but our first. We were very familiar with the music from listening to the CDs and DVD for years, but beholding it in person was so much better. I believe the performances in the round are an essential part of the show…not only do they introduce us to the artists and their heart journeys expressed in their songwriting (leading us to invest in their buy CDs during intermission of course), but it especially enhanced their subsequent testimony in their BTLOG roles. Jason, we were especially blessed by your music, and your Deliver Us performance was an evening highlight. So our thanks to all of you for your humble sharing of your hearts and talents this season to our Lord and His followers. And we look forward to next year’s tour!

  45. Jenny

    Jason–saw BTLOG for the first time this year in Lincoln and took my folks, pastor and his wife. WOW. It was the perfect way to celebrate Advent. And, you blew us away. We all were open-mouthed and were saying, “I just found a new favorite artist!!” And then I went and bought three of your CDs.

    Merry Christmas!

  46. d#

    on this most poignant and joyful of days, reading this post was as affirming as any bit of prose any writer of faith could present before me. the humility of great art….it’s humor and it’s desperation….in reality, it ALL leads to one thing. God’s unfailing grace.
    we sin….grace. we fail Him….grace. we fail ourselves….grace.
    no matter how hard i try there’s nothing i can do to eliminate His Grace from my life….thank you Jesus. for Grace and the gift of sharing it with others….thanks to all who have shared it with me.
    be blessed all….

  47. Mike

    I’ve missed the concert for the last few years, but I continue to introduce the record to people who haven’t heard it. We finally did Labor of Love this Christmas. I won’t stop until we do the whole thing or Mr Peterson brings the show to Maysville Georgia.

    Yeah, Christmas is just not the same without this record.

  48. Dwayne

    Thanks for your thoughts on the tour this year. A friend introduced me to this concert as a Christmas Gift. What a gift…the story of our lord and the struggles that we all must face in this life. Thanks for being real.

    D-

  49. Thom

    BTLOG is our generation’s Handel’s Messiah. Had Andrew written this work in an age not frought with bombastic volumes of recordings and media he would today be remembered for this collection as an incredible gift to us.

    When I have only 10 seconds to explain why my wife and I take a different couple every year to this performance and why we listen to it incessantly in our home I tell them that it is the message of an old story teller who chronicals our desperate need for a saviour and deeply streches me everytime I hear it even though I could not guess at how many that has been over the past 6 years.

  50. Eric

    I attended my first “Behold the Lamb of God” concert and promptly bought the album on iTunes. I would like to echo your sentiments: it is a different kind of Christmas album and an amazing Christmas album. It made my Christmas more meaningful; I’m grateful.

  51. Jessica

    This was my third year to see the tour and I listened with my eyes closed. Shutting the world out and listening to the amazing talent on stage and worshipping the baby being heralded. God has used you guys to deepen my understanding of His grace and my worship of Him. For that I’ll keep gathering around.

  52. taylor

    hey jason i dont know if you remember me from tennessee when me and my mom amy and taylor asked you about your book at winter blast 2011 u r doing but i hope that you get to where you need to go well and i hope that you and ur wife had a great 19th anniversary i hope that every one you meet comes closer to jesus christ like me when they here ur songs well anyway i g2g haope you can really reply back

    love taylor i hope you remember me and let god work trough yur life god bless you=p

  53. Matt

    Darn being from the Northwest. These guys so rarely make it up here…My wife likes to say I’m a Grinch because I don’t like Christmas music. She’s half-right, I don’t like pop Christian albums that do little to point to Christ. This album, however, breaks me. Thanks guys.

  54. Sherri

    Hi Jason, I’ve been to see the concert twice and was thrilled that you were apart of it this year. I actually listen to the CD throughout the year I love it so much. I really enjoyed the songs you shared in the round. I have some of your music but haven’t been able to locate the song that you wrote about how breathing is praising God. I’d love to know if this is on a cd already, if you get a chance to respond. I’m so thankful that you guys gave up your time to present the message through music. I am blessed!

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