The Peace Project may seem like an unusual title for a Christmas album, when you think of Michael Buble singing about chestnuts or Mariah Carey singing about romance, but ‘peace’ is exactly what Hillsong Worship want us to think about this season.
Aodhan King (Young & Free, Hillsong Worship) told Afternoons’ announcer Laura Bennett that it was songwriter Brooke Ligertwood who first birthed the idea for The Peace Project’s theme.
“Brooke came up with this idea that as Christians, Jesus and what God did for us: sending His son, coming to Earth, was the greatest peace project ever,” he explained. “Aligning ourselves with that message, we decided that maybe we are propagators of that peace and we need to steward that and bring that out [into the world].”
Fellow singer-songwriter Ben Hastings said for believers, Christmas should be a season of worship.
“Christmas should be about worship overflowing,” he said. “Not just into song, but into community and the intention of what Jesus came to do.”
As well as featuring classic Christmas songs like O Holy Night and Joy to the World, The Peace Project includes new originals from the group. One that’s particularly powerful is Seasons. Ben explained some of the story behind the song.
“When I was 13 years old my parents took my brother and I to Yosemite National Park [in California]”, he said. “In this forest there’s these giant trees – they’re called giant sequoias – I just remember as this young kid staring up at these trees and just being engulfed by their significance and size.
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“The crazy thing about these trees is, every single one of them started as a seed. And I think it’s so the same with the promise of God; so often we think we’re just going to wake up and there’ll be a giant sequoia in the backyard but the reality is he just gives us a seed.”
“Though the winter is long even richer the harvest it brings…Your promise for me like a seed I believe that my season will come” ~ From the song, ‘Seasons’
“You could look at your neighbours backyard and see what’s happening in their life, and all these promises coming to pass, and think ‘God, when’s that going to happen for me?’, when the reality is, it maybe already has, but it’s just still growing , it’s just still a seed.”
The metaphor continues as Ben adds that the winter season is what makes the sequoia grow strong. It’s a concept potrayed in the lyrics:
Though the winter is long even richer the harvest it brings / Though my waiting prolongs even greater / Your promise for me like a seed I believe that my season will come
The Peace Project is out now in stores, and online through Spotify and Apple Music.