John Bigham, Director of Music and the Arts at Intown Community Church in Atlanta, was looking for ways to bring the gospel message alive at Christmas in new, fresh, meaningful worship. “In order to see the glory and magnitude of what Christ did by coming into the world,” says Bigham, “We must first see our own wretched state and the desperate need of the torn and fragmented world around us.” As the words of O Holy Night so poetically describe, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.”
With this foundation, Intown musicians compiled a CD project entitled Child So Dear, an eclectic mix of Christmas music that combines the talents of some of the city’s foremost musicians. “Child So Dear arose out of our desire to see God’s mercy and grace even more vividly against the stark backdrop of our sinful and suffering world,” says Bigham. “Out of our gratitude for all that God has done for us in Christ, we want to join God in His passion for all people and all creation to experience His Kingdom.” That includes children ravaged by commercial sexual exploitation–all the proceeds of Child So Dear go to ministries fighting child sex trafficking in Atlanta.
The launch of the CD will correspond with a Concert of Hope held at Intown Community Church on November 29 and 30. The Child So Dear website (www.childsodear.org) features music samples and sales of the CD as well as background on the issue of child sex trafficking. Bigham hopes that the benefits of this project will reach beyond Intown Community Church. “As God works through us, our prayer is that He will bring His shalom–His peace, wholeness, and harmony–to bear not only in our own church community, but throughout the city.” This is the vision of Christmas that we long for as we sing O Holy Night:
“Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother; and in His name all oppression shall cease.”