It’s nice living just a couple hours from Nashville. It’s a cool city and you get the chance to see some great shows occasionally. One of those times was this past Monday night when my dad and my son Taylor (11) and I went to see Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God show at the Ryman Auditorium.
This is the 20th anniversary of the show, which Andrew and his friends do as a tour every year. The show, billed as the true tall tale of the coming of Christ, traces the redemption story from the Old Testament all the way through Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. I’ve seen it at the Ryman five or six times now, and I think it gets better every time.
It’s just a magical place to watch live music. The balcony seats are best, and while the pews are uncomfortable and close together, the acoustics are amazing, the sound is crisp and clear, and you can feel the music in your seat.
If you have never heard the show, do yourself a favor and listen, start to finish. The songwriting and storytelling is brilliant, and you will laugh, wonder and worship. Watching it performed live by a crew of talented musicians who clearly care about the message as much as the music is an incredible experience. The journey from Old Testament prophecy to New Testament fulfillment is thrilling and satisfying, and over the years, it has become a central part of the Christmas season for me. It was really cool to experience it with my dad and my son this year, too.
Andrew always assembles an all-star cast to play the shows in Nashville. When world-class fiddle and guitar and mandolin and banjo and harmonica and bass and piano and string players put their all into a song, you cannot help but rejoice, and when the entire place starts singing as we did on a few songs, well, you’d think you were at church, which is appropriate for a building that started life as a place of worship.
And yet, if something this good can be done in a broken, fallen place, what will heaven be like? As Tony Reinke writes, “Every pleasure in this world is pointing to another world. We live with a memory trace, a prompt that has been encrypted into our hearts, not recalled from our past, but a memory of some future we have barely tasted, of a homeland we have never stepped into.”
A homeland we have never stepped into. Think about that, and then think about how Jesus made a way for us to get home:
Gather round ye children come,
Listen to the old, old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man