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Behold the 20th Anniversary


Behold the 20th Anniversary

I remember starting my sophomore year in college in 1999. That fall semester was so much fun. I’d figured out my way around a new city, a new school, and an eclectic group of friends. My confidence was high and my optimism was off the charts. It was a good year. There were at least a handful of adventures and good times that marked that particular year. There was, of course, lots of time spent in the woods. In addition, there were more than a few 1AM falafels and gyros accompanied by good conversation. And I experienced some really incredible live music that year. I opened myself up to being surprised by the unfamiliar. And when I did present myself open hearted, the unfamiliar never seemed to disappoint.
That semester a close friend invited me to go see Andrew Peterson play at a local Baptist church. I’d never heard of him, but my buddy told me he had a James Taylor vibe so I was sold. I was one of the only sub-twenty year olds around who had really taken a deep dive into JT! I was immediately drawn to Peterson’s music. His lyrics were so strong and clever and story oriented. And his vocal range, melodic sensibility, and song arranging really is akin to James Taylor. I was totally into the show. About 3/4 into the night, Peterson says the crowd, “OK, so I’ve been writing all these Christmas songs and we’re going to launch a small tour this Christmas to see how it goes. I want to play a few of them for you tonight.” Then he launched into “Matthew’s Begats” and “Gather ‘Round.”

20 years later I’ve forgotten everything he played except those 2 songs. There was some kind of magic staying power they’ve had. The songs and spirit of his Christmas tour has been such a gift. At Southwood we’ve hosted him many times over the last decade, and it is truly an honor to play a role in bringing his 20th anniversary tour to the city of Huntsville.

Here’s what you need to know. The concert is on Sunday, December 1, at 7pm. However, this year it will be at the Mark C. Smith Concert hall at the Von Braun Center downtown! It’s kind of a big deal! This year the tour will be larger than in years past. He will be traveling with quite a few additional musicians and crew. He’s outgrown our sanctuary, which is just amazing! You can buy tickets at southwood.org/beholdthelamb and you need to jump on it because they are already being sold as I type this! We want to pack out the concert hall for him, and I know we’ll make it happen. Tell all your friends and neighbors to put down the Black Friday haul, load up on Thanksgiving leftovers, and come hear a show that will align your heart to receive the meaning of advent. You’ll be infected by the anticipation of Christmas joy!