“These Christmas Lights” is my first Christmas album and I’ve loved the process of writing and recording this project. It’s album number twelve for me, but the process this time around has felt so different. With most records you have a blank canvas to write about themes that are captivating your heart in that particular season. But with a Christmas album right from the outset it’s a much more focused project – and I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of that. I’ve loved becoming immersed all over again in the wonder and mystery of the incarnation – that God himself became one of us and journeyed from the cradle to the cross for our salvation. I love this beautiful story of grace that was written upon the pages of history, and upon the pages of Scripture, and is now written deep within our hearts.

One of my main aims during the adventure of writing these songs was to not just tell the old story, but to invite ourselves into it. Some of the very best worship songs move from a place of re-enactment to a stage of realisation – in other words, not just recounting what happened, but actually placing ourselves inside the story and singing of what that means for you and me, here and now. I hope that as you sing these songs you’ll get caught up with the choir of angels, journey alongside the wise men, and stand in awe of Christ with those shepherds. And I pray that just as they did back then, you’ll have a very real and profound encounter with the living God.

One more thing to mention – so many times people see a name on a record cover and perhaps attribute a little too much credit to that particular person for the things they like about the album. But these projects are always a huge team effort, and that has never been more apparent to me than now. My wife Beth had the initial idea to make “These Christmas Lights” – and friends like Jonas Myrin and Will Weeks invested so much into this process, over so many days . The person who worked hardest of all was producer Bernie Herms – who with passion, grit and determination poured amazing amounts of his brilliant creativity into this moment. Then there are all the songwriters, the musicians, the hard working folk at the record labels and studios, and on and on the list goes. One of the biggest treats for me this time around was to have some lovely friends make guest appearances – the vocal talents of Chris Tomlin, Natasha Bedingfield and Tasha Cobbs. All to say, if you end up liking the songs and sounds on this album, please know it’s a huge team effort.

I hope you really enjoy this record – and most of all I hope these songs will remind us all once again that the glory of Christmas is the glory of Christ.