A Made in Manitoba artist has taken an often neglected Christmas hymn and given it some new life, making it a perfect fit for Christmas in 2020.
David Bracken has just released 'Come, Oh Come,' a new single based on 'Angels From The Realms Of Glory.'
The song was a last-minute decision or at least considered last-minute in the recording industry. Bracken says they were working on a new album set for release in 2021 when his producer said "Oh, it would be great if we could do a Christmas song!" The only problem, the suggestion was made in mid-October. Typically artists record Christmas projects in July and by October radio stations have already made decisions on airplay for the year.
"I was like, 'OK, let me think and pray on this,'" Bracken says. "I was just sitting at the computer and praying one day and God showed me 'Angels From The Realms Of Glory,' and I decided to do it." He put the demo together in a weekend and sent it to the producer. "You hit the nail on the head with this one," was the producer's response. The team was able to get the song recorded, mixed, and mastered just in time for Christmas 2020.
'Let go of the junk of 2020'
The worship artist hopes that the song brings people together in worship, whether they're with one another or not.
"My hope is that people just enter into a time of worship, and they can just let go of all the junk that 2020 has given us, and they can just turn it around and just worship God."
For Bracken, the imagery of the song reminds him of a difficult season in his own life when he experienced God in a deeply meaningful way. Driving to work one day feeling down and praying to God, he sensed God pressing him to read in the book of Habakkuk. "I'm thinking to myself, 'What is Habakkuk?' So naturally, I'm thinking I'm just thinking this up myself - not hearing from God. But then I sense that I'm to read chapter 3 and verse 19. I don't even know if there is a chapter 3 in that book."
When he got to work he opened his Bible, and sure enough, there were exactly three chapters in the book of Habakkuk. Not only that, but verse 19 was the last verse of the entire book. "I decided to get at least a bit of context to see what's going on so I started to read at verse 17. It says, 'Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,' and by this point I'm like 'OK, it hadn't been 2020 yet, but this is 2020 in a nutshell. Everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. Everything is destitute and desolate and I'm thinking 'thanks for this one, God.'
But then I read verse 18 and it says, 'yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.' And that just, I think that sums up this year for me altogether. There are so many things that are going to try to make us negative, or try and bring us down and look to the bad and horrible things of this year. But we just need to remember that little bit right there. That, even though after all of the junk that Habakkuk was talking about, 'Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord.'
It was then that Bracken finally got to the verse he felt God telling him to read, Habakkuk 3:19, which says, "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."
"That's what I needed to hear," Bracken says. "I was low, I was down, I was not feeling good about myself, or feeling good about life at that time, and here is a verse, in an obscure book that I had never really heard of or read in my life up to that time, and here is God giving a verse that I felt was just for me, to say that even when you're low, when you're down, even when you feel like you have no strength to go on, the sovereign Lord is my strength."