Tonight at the Ryman Auditorium

Amy and I at the Ryman in 2011
Amy and I at the Ryman in 2011

Every year, I receive the sweet gift of an invitation to play Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God concert at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium. Tonight, by no merit of my own, I’ll get to share the stage with a bus-load of people I love dearly and sing a song for the sold out Ryman crowd. (My wife and older kids will be among them, along with a few other precious relatives and friends.)

It is a night full of grace and wonder, and even after all these years, I know the “True Tall Tale” will surprise me again. My eyes will leak and my chest will catch as the music and the story remind me of the great story God has been writing forever. I’m so grateful to get to play a tiny part tonight, and it reminds me of my gratitude for the Gospel.

By some strange mercy, I’ve been caught up in the story of the Gospel, and everything about my own story has come to life because of it. Every blessing carries its fragrance. Every heavy trouble is made lighter by its promise. If you are reading this today, and aren’t sure what to believe about Jesus. That’s okay. But take a chance. Do like the shepherds did so many years ago.  Go and see. 

Find a church that is telling the story again, and go. Look past your presumptions. Have mercy, whether you encounter distracting high-tech light glitz or campy, wooden performances. The people are there not because they are pros. They are there because they have tasted redemption. They have tasted forgiveness and maybe even freedom. They have seem the impossible become possible and Christmas gives them a chance to say, “Yes. This happened. I know because it is happening to me.”

If you can come to the Ryman tonight, COME! But I hope the rest of you will venture out in the next 10 days to remember the story that gives humanity a chance. We are loved! Go tell it on the mountain! Jesus Christ is born.

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