How would you respond if someone asked you to tell them the Christmas story?

There are a lot of places where you could begin. I would probably start with Mary, the devout Hebrew young woman who was visited by an angel and told that she would become pregnant with the Messiah.

Someone else might start with the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, who prophesied around 700 B.C. that a child would be born. He would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace,” and His kingdom would have no end (Isaiah 9).

Others might tell the story of the shepherds in the fields who were visited by a host of angels and told to go see the Christ child. You could share about the wise men who saw the magnificent star and travelled from their foreign land to visit Jesus, the child, the King.

All of these answers are true, and they are part of the amazing story of the birth of Jesus.

However, have you ever thought about telling the Christmas story from Colossians?

It’s easy to picture Jesus as the humble baby born in a stable one night in Bethlehem. But Jesus is so much more than a baby. Let’s see what Colossians 1:15-19 says about Him:

1. He created the world.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth… all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). You mean Jesus––tiny baby lying in the manger––was there when God made the world? Moreover, He created the world? Yes! That’s Jesus.

2. He’s the image of the invisible God.

“He is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). Sometimes it’s hard to picture God. He made the world, He controls everything, and He’s just… here? I can talk to Him? Because of Jesus, yes, we can. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to walk with God, talk with God, or eat dinner with God, read about Jesus. He’s the [visible] image of the invisible God.

3. He was fully God.

We already touched on this in the paragraph above, but just to be clear, let’s include another verse from this passage: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Col. 1:19). Amazing! And pretty self-explanatory.

4. He reconciles all things to himself.

“… through him to reconcile to himself all things…” (Col. 1:19). Now this is exciting! Do you ever look around our world and think of how broken it is? So many people are hurting, grieving and searching for answers. Friends, the answer is Jesus. He restores, He reconciles ALL things. Bring your burdens to Him, and He will give you rest (Matt. 11:28-30).

5. He made peace through the blood of his cross.

“… making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:19). Wow! There isn’t a sentence or two that I could write to describe how incredible this gift of peace is for those who put their faith in Jesus. Like Isaiah said, He is indeed the “Prince of Peace.”

Well friends, this is a lot of information to take in. If I can summarize with one bit of encouragement, it’s this: seek Jesus. He is wonderful, loving and all that we ever need. And He wants to know you. That’s why He came to earth in a lowly stable two thousand years ago. That, is the Christmas story.


 

She has off-the-charts vocals. She can belt the high notes and rap to Lecrae. She’s been traveling through Europe touring with TobyMac. Oh, and she’s also 19 years old.
Meet Hollyn, the young artist who is already making her mark on the Christian music industry. In 2015 she released her self-titled EP, which shows off her incredible vocals in an upbeat, modern style of music.

RS: What is it like touring with TobyMac? What have you learned from him?

H: Touring with Toby has been incredible to say the least. He’s so much fun to be around. Diverse City has become my family, and I am so grateful to travel and be a part of this journey with them by my side. I’ve learned so much from their years of experience, and they are helping me become the artist and leader I need to be.

RS: You are 19 years old. What are the benefits and challenges of pursuing a singer-songwriter career at such a young age?

H: The benefits of being so young and being an artist is the opportunity to see the world and singing for a living. I mean, how many people get to do what they love for a living? I’m truly blessed and the Lord is faithful. It’s also challenging because I barely have time to see my family or friends from home, but I keep in touch and FaceTime has become the best way to do that for now. Everything has pros and cons, and I’m trying the best I can to balance it out.

RS: How did your experience on American Idol (Season 12) shape your music career?

H: My experience on American Idol showed me that I wasn’t ready at the time to dedicate my life to something I didn’t believe in. I didn’t know who I was as an artist, so I went home and made an effort to figure that out. That’s when I met Toby, and accepted the fact that God was calling me to do this.

RS: Did you ever consider producing secular music?

H: To me, great music is being transparent and honest. Whether that’s about my relationship with Jesus, how my heart has been broken by a boy, friendship, or a track that I love because it just makes me feel good. If you craft songs intentionally and speak from the heart, people will listen.

RS: How is your music distinctive within the Christian genre?

H: I have an incredible team that allows me to write music I’m passionate about. My goal is to create a sound and brand that is fresh and unique. Something that people my age are drawn to and that speaks to a generation called to be different.

RS: When did you first become interested in rap?

H: I’ve always listened to rap music, but I recently stated attempting to rap about 3 years ago. I wouldn’t call myself a “rapper” but I love having fun with it.

RS: How has your family supported you throughout this journey?

H: My family has supported me through every aspect of life. Music or no music. They love me for who I am in Christ and as their daughter/sister. They’ve traveled, invested their time, and loved me unconditionally. I am eternally grateful for them.

RS: What are your plans for the future?

The future excites me. Five years ago I was sitting in school day dreaming about singing on stage for a living, and now I get to travel the world with TobyMac. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years bring.

To learn more about Hollyn and her music, visit iamhollyn.com and follow her on Twitter at @iamhollyn.

•••