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The 700 Club

"Behold the Lamb of God" This Christmas!

“What if there was one night of the year when the audience could come and get away from Santa Claus and remember just how amazing the story is that God put on flesh and dwelt among us.” Ponders Andrew Peterson, who 20 years ago had the idea to create a Christmas concert that tells the story of Jesus from the old testament to his birth.

As a young artist Andrew was touring constantly, when he came up with the idea for the “Behold The Lamb of God” tour.

“The beginning of the tour was during one of the most difficult seasons of my career, in some ways my marriage too.” Andrew reflects, “Like our – we were just young parents, we had uh kids in diapers, we were trying to make the music thing work. We didn't really understand at the time how crazy it was that we were traveling as much as we were. But it was in the middle of that season that we did the first tour.  The first tour was really shaky and then we decided to try it again the next year and kind of augment it a little bit and fill in the blanks and finish the songs that hadn't been finished yet.
And I had no idea, back then, that tour was going to be a gift that would keep on giving for the next 20 years."

Andrew and friends performed the Christmas tour for several years, but the label did not want to record the ablum.

Andrew tells the story, “I was trying to convince them, 'Hey, I've got this idea for an album that's all -- it's all Christmas songs, but it starts in the Old Testament, and they're not standards, they're new, and they have Dobros and hammered dulcimers and electric guitars, and it's not going to be just me singing, it's other voices singing songs. Hey, can we record it?' And it's like no surprise in hindsight that they were like 'That sounds crazy. I don't think so.'”

Without the support of his label, he borrowed the money to produce the behold the "Lamb of God" album. As the audiences grew Andrew had a dream to do the Christmas show at the Ryman auditorium.

With a smile Andrew tells us, “If you don't know about the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, it was built as a church more than 100 years ago, like a revival hall and right in the middle of downtown Nashville. And has since become – then it became the home of the Grand Ole Opry, so all this country music history there, and gospel music history.

And so it's just this – when you walk into the place you can feel the – it's like all that music has seasoned the wood in the room or something.

"So we love this auditorium and back at the very beginning of this tour me and the guys were like, 'Man, wouldn’t it be amazing to do the show there, in the city that we love, in this venue that is so significant?' And five – I think it was five years into the tour it grew enough to where we were able to pull the trigger and uh and now it's hard to imagine not doing the show at the Ryman.  After 15 years, all of us walk into the room with this like goose-bumpy kind of awe that we – that we get to play there.”

To commemorate the 20th anniversary Andrew and friends recorded a new version of the album and are grateful to tour the month of December.

“The personnel on the tour, uh there's a core that has been mostly the same for all these 20 years.” Andrew continues, “And all year long we're all running around like crazy with family and kids and careers and everything, but like amazingly, I just still can't even really believe it, but amazingly in December this same core group of people, kinda stop everything else and go 'The gospel is so important to us that we're going to – we're going to put aside everything else and just be together again and remember the fact that this community  exists because of Jesus, and then we're going to tell people about it.'"

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