Have you heard of Michael W. Smith? To me, he is to contemporary Christian music what Louis Armstrong was to jazz or DJ Kool Herc is to rap. In 2014, the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) honored Michael W. Smith as “the cornerstone of Christian music.” His accomplishments are legion: 3 Grammy Awards, 45 Dove Awards, 31 #1 hits, 13 books, 3 movies, and on and on! Although his music is distinctly Christian, he’s also been recognized by American culture at large, including being named as one of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful People” in 1992. His worship songs have been sung in churches everywhere for the past 25+ years, and I love both the lyrics and ethereal orchestrations he composes. One of the things I most admire about Michael W. Smith is that he’s remained married to his one and only wife, Debbie, and he lets everybody know that being with his wife and kids is what makes for his happiest Christmas memories. He’ll be home for Christmas. However, last night Alan and I had the opportunity to see him in person…a first for us! In concert with our own beloved Grand Rapids Symphony and Resurrection Life’s glorious choir, Michael W. Smith led a congregation of some 4,000 worshipers in experiencing The Spirit of Christmas. As we were leaving, Alan said he couldn’t remember ever being more moved by musical program…and that’s saying a lot, considering we’ve enjoyed venues like the Sydney Opera House, London, Boston, Hillsong in both the U.S. and Australia, etc. I was bubbling over about our experience while talking with my “Little Sister” Lizzie this morning, and she said she and her husband have tickets to see Michael W. Smith with Amy Grant on December 20 in Washington D.C. I see he’s got about 9 more stops on his tour scheduled between now and then, and I have no clue if you live anywhere near one of the cities, or if the tickets are already sold out, but if you’re looking for a memorable Christmas program, The Spirit of Christmas definitely warmed the cockles of our hearts. On the other hand, my son Joel and a bunch of his friends went to hear the Boston Symphony’s “Holiday Pops” last night, and they had a great time together too. Maybe what I’m really trying to say is this: I hope you get out and have a magical, musical experience sometime this Christmas…whether it’s hearing someone famous in person for the first time or gathering with a group of friends to go caroling door to door. The spirit of Christmas is really the Spirit of Christ, who is Love, Light, and Life, so you know it will be awesome no matter how you celebrate! Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
(Pictures of Michael W. Smith from Wikipedia
Picture of Michael with his wife from Christianity Malaysia, http://christianitymalaysia.com/wp/michael-w-smith-songwriter-singer-times/
I took the pictures of Michael W. Smith at The Spirit of Christmas, Resurrection Life Church, 12.08.15)