The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham played host Dec. 17 to a performance of the 22nd annual “Behold the Lamb of God” tour.
Written by Andrew Peterson, Behold the Lamb is a Christmas musical performance based on his 2004 album (updated in 2019). The evening features singers, musicians and guest artists, along with congregational songs, prayer and worship.
In the event program, Peterson says, “I’m so happy to be back on the road with the band, playing for living, breathing, in-the-flesh audiences. … So tonight, if you see us grinning like fools or fighting a lump in the throat, it’s likely because we are overwhelmed by the love of God.
“This isn’t a performance as much as it is a celebration of who He is and what He’s done.”
Peterson stopped a few times during the performance to change dead batteries or tune instruments, making him relatable to the audience.
He presented one artist as someone whose career he had followed for quite a while — his daughter, Skye, a songwriter joining the tour for the first time.
Andy Osenga, co-producer of the original album and touring partner, performed, along with married couple Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips.
The next performer wasn’t part of the tour, but Peterson’s friend and “songwriting hero,” Allen Levi, made a cameo appearance.
He came from the audience to the stage, borrowed Peterson’s guitar and sang about how a Christmas tree feels being cut down in its prime to bring others joy. He ended by comparing this to Jesus leaving heaven only to be cut down by the world.
Each Behold the Lamb tour has a special guest and this year’s was The Arcadian Wild, a progressive, bluegrass quartet.
Before intermission, Peterson led everyone in a Christmas liturgy and “Is He Worthy?” Then he and Troy Groves, a director at International Justice Mission, discussed their efforts to stop human slavery.
Peterson shared a truth that not only applies to his quest to become skilled at drawing but everyone, including often-forgotten-about victims of human trafficking.
“There have been so many times in the last few weeks that I’m two hours into a sketch of an old oak tree, and I realize I’ve completely screwed it up,” Peterson, a burgeoning artist, said. “It looks horrible. I want to throw it away and start over. But then I take a deep breath, step away for a little while and sit down to rescue the drawing.
‘Making all things new’
“I think it’s worth noting that in Revelation Jesus said, ‘Behold I’m making all things new.’ He doesn’t say, ‘Behold, I’m making all new things,’” Peterson continued. “He’s in the business of redeeming what’s broken, not just scrapping it and starting over.
“He doesn’t rewrite our stories — He redeems them. He gives them a good ending, one that makes good of the enemy’s best attempts to ruin them and one that is somehow more glorious than we can imagine.”
Peterson led, “O Come all Ye Faithful,” acapella, then read Philippians 2:5–11. The team sang the first words of “The Doxology” and filed off stage.
Earlier in the evening, Peterson had said, “‘Behold the Lamb of God’ isn’t just about the incarnation of Jesus. Yes, we sing about the need for and the coming of a Savior to this broken world. Yes, that’s what this season is about.
“But at the end of the show, we sing, ‘Glory to Jesus, ancient and strong, come to Your people and carry us home.’ It’s not just about the first coming of Christ, but the second coming too. We’re caught between the two advents,” Peterson said. “It’s all one story.”