“The Purpose of Christmas” CD, the music companion to Dr. Rick Warren’s newest book with the same title released today from Howard Publishers at retailers nationwide, is now available through an exclusive arrangement with the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart. All net proceeds will benefit The PEACE Plan, a global initiative created by Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Southern California and author of “The Purpose Driven Life.”
This 16-track CD intertwines inspirational Christmas songs, sung by such well-known artists as Sarah McLachlan, Martina McBride, ThirdDay and Vince Gill, with inspiring narrative from Warren explaining the three purposes of Christmas – celebration, salvation and reconciliation – as detailed in his book, “The Purpose of Christmas.”
“The theme of this CD is one that will move and inspire the entire nation,” said musician David Pack, visionary and producer of the CD project. “The true purpose and meaning of Christmas is one we should all be reminded of as we approach the busy holiday season. I am honored to have had the opportunity to partner with such great artists, singers and songwriters to help convey this powerful message through music.”
The concept of “The Purpose of Christmas” CD was developed around Warren’s 2006 Christmas message, which was given at Saddleback Church and broadcast to the nation via the FOX News Network. During this message, Warren described how Christmas is a time to celebrate that God loves you, God is with you and God is for you; a time to understand and admit that Jesus came to save you from something, for something and by something; and a time to reconcile with those around you and with God by recognizing that Jesus offers you peace with God, peace of God and peace with others.
“God’s message of the purpose of Christmas is clearly written in His Word,” said Warren. “I believe that when people experience the Good News on this CD compilation, they will begin to understand what Christmas means to them personally, deepening their regard and respect for this season. “
Tracks on “The Purpose of Christmas,” produced by Pack with Josh Warren serving as executive producer, include:
An introductory message from Warren
“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” – Performed by contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman
“Silent Night” – Sung by pop artist Sarah McLachlan
“Celebration” message from Warren
“The Purpose of Christmas” title song – Written by Pack exclusively for this project and performed by Saddleback Church featured artists
“Joy to the World” – Sung by Christian group ThirdDay
“Follow that Star” – An exclusive song for this CD, written and performed by singer/songwriter Paul Baloche and his wife, Rita
“Salvation” message from Warren
“What Child is This” – Performed by country artist Martina McBride
“He is Emmanuel” – An exclusive song for this CD, written by Tony Guerrero, director of creative arts at Saddleback Church and sung by gospel recording artist CeCe Winans
“Reconciliation” message from Warren
“O Holy Night” – Recorded exclusively for this CD by jazz pianist David Benoit
“Let There be Peace on Earth” – Sung by country artist Vince Gill and his daughter Jenny
“Sleep Little Prince of Peace” – An exclusive new song written by Pack, Adam Watts and Andy Dodd and performed by Pack and Watts.
“O Come All Ye Faithful” – Sung by award-winning singer/songwriter Amy Grant
“The Unwrapped Gift” message from Warren
All net proceeds of the CD will go to benefit Saddleback Church’s PEACE Plan, an effort to mobilize millions of Christians to fight the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-centered leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy/education through Promoting reconciliation, Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick and Educating the next generation.
The CD with bonus DVD of Warren’s message is now available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. “The Purpose of Christmas” book (Howard Books / A Division of Simon & Schuster Hardcover; Nov. 4, 2008; ISBN: 1-4165-5900-0; $17.99) is available beginning at retailers nationwide. Accompanying DVD study curriculum materials from Zondervan are also available at stores nationwide.