Steven Curtis Chapman

11.05.14 | Darcie Gore

Joy: The Christmas Tour featuring the most awarded artist in Christian music, Steven Curtis Chapman, will be ushering in the holidays at First Arena in Elmira on Thursday, Dec. 4. Chapman will have two guest artists with him – five-time GRAMMY® nominee worship leader, Brandon Heath, and rising singer-songwriter, Jillian Edwards, who is Chapman’s daughter-in-law. Find ticket info!

Collectively, Chapman’s Christmas albums have sold nearly 1.5 million copies, and he plans to treat fans to an evening filled with songs from each. Selections from JOY, his latest Christmas album, will highlight the night, as well as beloved songs from Chapman’s three previous holiday albums. Chapman hopes this concert will make his fans feel everything he felt while in the process of recording the songs from JOY.

“I want the audience to feel the fun of Christmas again, the joy, the childlikeness that I think God invites us into,” says Chapman. “Unless you come as a child, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I know theologically that means we need the ‘faith of a child’ and all of that, but I also think in some ways God says, ‘Unless you simply come with a really big imagination and capacity for dreaming and believing in things that are pretty impossible, you’re not going to be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’ And so, I hope these songs will help capture that, and maybe take them home in their mind and heart, to the good memories.” 

Yet, not all of Chapman’s Christmas songs, in his words, are “sprinkled with fairy dust and snowflakes.” Even during Christmas time, this accomplished artist doesn’t shy away from addressing the harder things of life, even the tragic ones, which Chapman and his family are keenly aware of after the accidental death of their 5-year-old adopted daughter, Maria.

“Christmas can be a really hard, painful time for some people,” continues Chapman. “I want this concert to relate to that, because God can relate to that. He is with you. He is there. That’s the Christmas message. Ultimately, that’s what I hope people will leave saying, ‘It’s true, God is with us.’ Whether it’s a good season, a good chapter in your story, or an awful, painful, hard chapter, it doesn’t change the bedrock truth that God is with us in all of those different chapters and different seasons. That’s my hope.”