Northern Irish worship ensemble Rend Collective is offering a FREE 4-day devotional plan based on their album, A Jolly Irish Christmas. Join Rend Collective as they share the meaning and verses behind this album. You can subscribe to the devotional HERE.
Here's a sample:
"There was something aching about recording a Christmas record stuck in Nashville over the holidays, far away from the familiarity of family and comfort of holiday traditions last year. There was a lot to miss, like the more superficial things like missing out on the Christmas market in downtown Belfast, where we bundle up every year and go from stall to stall eating churros and Spanish potatoes, and German pretzels until we can barely walk! Or from not having all the specialty chocolate that Cadbury's makes every Christmas, to the more meaningful things like missing a Christmas with our parents, seeing our nieces and nephews opening presents and going on a family walk after Christmas dinner.
We know we weren't alone in not being able to be with family for Christmas due to the pandemic. It was raw time for many of us. Some of us were alone in hospitals, some of us had lost our jobs, and some of us were celebrating our first Christmas without a loved one.
It was during that time we found ourselves asking the Holy Spirit to be our home in the midst of a disorienting year and digging deeper into the Christmas story for why this holiday is important in the absence of annual traditions.
The reality is that in the stark absence of all the traditions that signaled "Christmas" to us, we found a much deeper joy in why we celebrate this time of year. While there's, of course, nothing wrong with the festivities that come with this time of year, having it all stripped back caused us to fix our eyes on the gift of Jesus' life on earth.
The traditions come and go, they evolve and change over time, but Jesus is our constant. He is our star in the east, reminding us all year long of the gift of our salvation through Him.
We may not have gotten to be home in Ireland for Christmas, but Jesus made His home in our hearts.
We recorded this traditional Irish Christmas folk song on our record because it reminded us of home and all the festivities we love and associate with this time of year. It's a folk song, so it's not particularly "worshipful" but it IS a bit of home in a foreign land, much like Jesus is our home and comfort as we live here on earth. He's home one true, Home forever. "
Hailing from a small town off the coast of Northern Ireland, Rend Collective (Gareth Gilkeson, Chris Llewellyn, Ali Gilkeson, Patrick Thompson and Stephen Mitchell) wants to be known as a celebration band, worshiping for God's Glory and fame. Since the release of their first album, Organic Family Hymnal, the group's authentic and energetic style of worship has attracted an international audience, with career sales of more than 300,000 albums.
The group saw early success as their first ever single "Build Your Kingdom Here," peaked at No. 12 on the National Christian Audience Chart. Their 2014 release The Art of Celebration, charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart within the first week of its release. Known for their electric lively worship, the band has been a part of several major tours with top artists such as Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Kari Jobe, Lecrae and more.