The Bogle Band and Christian Aid release songs for Advent
Two specially written Christmas songs have been released this December - both with connections to the Church of Scotland.
The Bogle band, which features Very Rev Albert Bogle the pioneer minister behind the online ministry Sanctuary First based in Falkirk Presbytery, has released an uplifting new song called "When Grace Comes to Town".
Mr Bogle said his inspiration came from seeing that the challenges facing us today are similar to the challenges facing people at the time of Jesus' birth.
"The song was written six weeks ago," he said. "It reflects on the challenges many people are facing in a world where so much feels broken. It was to such a broken world in the 1st century that Jesus was born.
"In the midst of all that is going on in politics where people are not speaking very gracefully to one another, I just thought wouldn't it be great if we just started living in grace for a while. What would happen if grace came into town?"
Sanctuary First has also released a podcast to accompany the song that features Mr Bogle and Iain Jamieson looking at the meaning of grace.
You can also hear an interview with Albert and listen to the song on BBC Radio Scotland's Afternoon show on Tuesday 10 December. (segment starts at 33 minutes into the show)
And if you routinely use Alexa, why not download the Sanctuary First app which will allow you to ask Alexa to read you Sanctuary First's prayer for the day.
Christmas carol celebrates Christian Aid
A Christmas carol has also been specially written to celebrate the work of Christian Aid and gifted to the charity to raise funds for its Christmas Appeal.
The carol, "When out of poverty was born", was written by Kathy Galloway, a former head of Christian Aid Scotland.
Originally written 20 years ago for Advent Sunday the hymn is Kathy’s interpretation of the Magnificat. Kathy wrote the hymn to the Scottish traditional folk tune ‘Jock O’Hazeldean’ although the version in CH4 is sung to Kingsfold.
Sally Foster-Fulton said the words fit perfectly with the work Christian Aid is doing.
“Kathy’s hymn is particularly poignant this year," she said.
"Our appeal focuses on how women across the world can be supported to rise up out of very difficult situations and find fullness of life for themselves and their families.
"Kathy’s words resonate beautifully: ‘In the strength of woman’s faith/the Word of Life was born/She knew that God would raise the low/it pleased her to obey.’"
Sally is excited that churches will sing the hymn together for Christian Aid.
“Christmas Carols link us to the mystery and the moment of Advent," she adds.
"We hope that congregations across Scotland will raise their voices together for our neighbours around the world. In the midst of inequality and injustice, together we can change lives.”