Listen to the new album from ‎Jekalyn Carr!
Listen to the new album from ‎Jekalyn Carr!

JFH Staff Blog | January 2020

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

About 'Unto Us,' by (the autumn)'s Chris Shalter

A goal that I've always had as a songwriter has been to write an original Christmas song. I feel like writing a Christmas song in some ways can be more difficult than writing a "typical" worship song; I think this is in part because there are already so many established Christmas standards that it’s a little intimidating. I mean, how often do artists just opt to put new spins on the songs we already know? But we felt we had our own story to tell and were eager to get it down and share it!

Verse 1 and the first part of Verse 2 come from John 1, as Jesus is the light of all mankind and the glory of the Father. One of the goals of this song was to point out specific characteristics about some of the “characters” of the Christmas story, such as in the second part of Verse 2 with the shepherds (Luke 2) and how their place in society was described as being lowly.

In verse 3, in talking about the kingdoms bracing against the siege, that’s in reference to King Herod (Matthew 2). And I love how Matthew describes Herod as being “disturbed” by what he knew was the coming and one true Kingdom through of the birth of Jesus. And so he sends out these magi who were considered to be full of wisdom and mystical and are even referenced as types of kings themselves to find Jesus and report to Herod where he is so he can worship him - which we know is not really what Herod was going to do. But yet when they find Jesus, these wise Magi realize they are in the presence of the King of Glory and they bow to him.

So you have these two sets of characters, the shepherds and the magi, coming from two very different standpoints in society finding themselves in unity together in one common purpose and that’s to worship at the feet of Jesus. And then in Verse 4 the focus shifts to more on the prophecy of what Jesus came to do, which was to become the savior for all of mankind creating a new establishment and the singular way to eternal life (Isaiah 53).

And then there’s the chorus, with the first part as a call to all of heaven and the angels rejoicing and lifting a cry of praise at this  (Luke 2:10-14) and the second part of mankind beholding the coming victory through Jesus (Psalm 68:18, Ephesians 4:7-8).

Overall, we were so happy with how the sound came together and our prayer is this song resonates with the listener, and points them to the truth of love, Grace, mercy, joy, power, and hope that is only found in Jesus!

-- (the autumn)'s Chris Shalter