Worship leader David Crowder known synonymously by Crowder released a new Christmas album titled Milk & Cookies, where he combines deep spiritual topics with playful Christmas themes.
Crowder’s Milk & Cookies is a compilation of classic Christmas songs and some creative, original tracks.
"I went into this album knowing that, for some, the holidays are not the best time ever,” the award-winning singer shared in a video interview with The Christian Post. “There's a lot of sadness wrapped up into it. Most of that has to do with either people we've lost or inability to get home or no home to get back to — family issues that keep us separated from one another.”
“To me, the whole miracle and the magic of the Christmas story is relationship,” he said. “It's built on relationship. So I think that pain that we feel and that sense of being separated, it's a perfect mirror for what the story is about. It's about the created being at a distance from their Maker and for God making a way back into communion with Him.”
Crowder acknowledged that "Christmas is about relationship” and the pain, sorrow and joy that is felt during the holiday season points to relationship.
He recalled his own childhood memories playing Christmas records, and while his family taught him the true meaning of the celebration, they also indulged in the silly traditions of the season.
"We had Santa Claus and Jesus sitting right next to each other and we had a manger, little Nativity scene full of GI Joes and Star Wars figures,” Crowder said. “There wasn't a divide for us as kids between the playful side and the spiritual side. So that's what I've really tried to do with this Milk & Cookies [album] is keep the story that's the best story ever been told on the planet, right up against these mythological ideas of what it looks like to grow up hoping that there's going to be something in the stocking when you wake up in the morning.
"I feel like most of the stuff that we experience around the season point to what is the miraculous — that there was the best gift ever given, and it was to make a way back into relationship with our Creator.”
Crowder sought to sing about everything he believes Christmas stands for in his new album.
When asked about the song, “The Ballad of Mrs. C (She's sick of the beard),” and the deep meaning behind some of the lyrics of the seemingly comical song, the Texas native encouraged people working in ministry not to grow weary.
"I think you got to pull away,” Crowder commented, stressing that people who work tirelessly to help others need a sabbath day just as Mr. and Mrs. Claus do.
“The end of that tune, [Mr. and Mrs. Claus are] headed off to Mexico to just chill for a bit, shave off the beard, get back in that sunshine, soak it in and don't worry, he'll be back around.”
He added, "I got to do this by helping start a church. I was on staff for 16 years there while the Crowder band music stuff was taking off. Man, it was a lot to carry. [We were] on the road all the time but we were back at church every Sunday. We didn't have a lot of people on staff, so I'm cleaning toilets and picking who's leading our Sunday school classes.
"I think there's a balance that comes with relationships as well. But man, it's tough to be working together, living together, trying to model what it means to be following Jesus, and in a public way. Everybody thinks, 'Oh, they've got it figured out. What a great couple these folks are.' Man, it's tough in the household. It's cold sometimes and you've got to choose to make time to foster stuff. You can't give if the well is dry. To find that rhythm is a difficult thing.”
Crowder and his wife, Toni, of 30 years, served at University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, for 16 years. He said the song was a fun way to express that because work in ministry and life, in general, can be tough and stressful, taking time to rest provides the strength to “plow through some stuff when you don't feel like plowing through it."
"Self-sacrifice is so much of what we're called to,” Crowder told CP. “So it's not always like, 'Man, this feels great to be doing this right now.' A lot of times, it doesn't. At the same time, when you know that you're called to something, you give everything you got to it. Yet we're following somebody that knew how to model what it means to pull away and to find that Sabbath rhythm.”
Crowder insists that the Sabbath is not something to go about flippantly, but rather it's in the design of the “system for a reason.” “God rested on the seventh day and I ain't Him,” pointing out that he might need more than one day to rest.
As for what he hopes people take away from Milk & Cookies, the talented musician emphasized that the importance of relationships is what he's promoting.
"Relationship is available,” Crowder declared. “God's been in pursuit of you since the moment you got here.”
He added, “The pains that you feel, the struggle that you feel, all points back to the truth of how He's made us, which is to be in communion with Him. That longing isn't to be ignored or neglected. No, it's an indication that the way that you've been made is that we're made to be in relationship with Him and His other created people.”
Milk & Cookies featuring the holiday classics “White Christmas, “Carol of the Bells,” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” is now available to stream everywhere.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic