Christmas Songbook Day 6: “Immanuel” by Michael Card

In 1988, the Christian musician Michael Card released a two-CD album called “The Life,” which chronicles the life of Christ. My parents purchased this one in a fancy cardboard box with two individual jewel cases holding each CD, along with a large booklet, in which the entire story of the life of Jesus was relayed in narrative form.

This album was a regular part of my childhood, but because about 10 of the almost 30 tracks had to do with Jesus’ birth narrative, I always associated this album with Christmas. As an adult, I was able to pick up my own copy of it and have listened to it regularly as part of my Christmas celebration.

As the album was written more than 30 years ago, the music may sound dated to younger ears. However, it’s the lyricism and the heart behind this project that make it shine. Plus, Card’s pure tenor vocals are a treat for the listener, leaving no doubt why he should be considered one of the icons of the 1980’s Christan music scene.

There were several tracks I could have chosen, but I really like how “Immanuel” weaves together the prophetic words of Isaiah with the powerful assurance of God’s presence and love from Paul in Romans 8.

If you’re able to get your hands on a copy of “The Life,” I would highly recommend it. Plus, I’m sure there are a few versions of it uploaded on YT and other streaming sites, so if you like this track, definitely seek out others. (“Celebrate the Child” and “The Final Word” are also fabulous.)

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