Tony Cummings reports on worship leader CHRISTY NOCKELS' return to a much-loved Christmas album
Christy Nockels is one of America's most loved worship leaders and singer/songwriters. The three-times Dove Award-winning artist has enjoyed a string of hugely successful albums including 2009's 'Life Light Up', 2012's 'Into The Glorious' and 2015's 'Let It Be Jesus'. In 2016 she released 'The Thrill Of Hope' featuring Christmas songs old and new. This year she has returned to those songs and with her producer husband Nathan Nockels (Passion, Matt Redman) offers brand new recordings on 'The Thrill Of Hope Renewed'. While favourite "Advent Hymn" was a plaintive piano vocal, it is now a full band arrangement that MultiTracks.com, a resource for worship leaders, will be featuring this season. The much-loved carol "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and the original "Our Christmas Song" have also been completely recrafted.
Christy also shares her personal story behind her song "Amaryllis" on the album and has released her "Amaryllis Story" video on a YouTube video. She observed how receiving a potted amaryllis bulb from her sister-in-law, she learned that the Amaryllis plant blooms in the bleakness of winter, conditions that are counter-intuitive to new life - much like Jesus' arrival at Christmas. Christy commented, "He certainly didn't arrive when conditions were perfect. In fact, he arrived in the midst of a silence in a winter that the world had never known and just when we thought we'd never see spring, heaven gave a King. He surprised the night."
She continued, "When we least expected it, his love broke through and he shined, pushing through the hardness of winter on our behalf. He has and always will be new life. And that very life he offers to us, that no matter how dark and bleak our condition may be, like him, we too can bloom with the brilliance of summer right in the middle of winter."
Steeped in scriptural references from Isaiah, Genesis, Micah and more, 'The Thrill Of Hope Renewed' includes the new song "Is He Worthy / The King is Coming", a fusion of Andrew Peterson's "Is He Worthy" and Nockels' "The King Is Coming". On her original Christmas release "The King Is Come" was a prelude; the new recording is the album's postlude.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.