Christmas is coming and I’ve decided to make this list of Christian songs (with Christian messages or simply inspired by Christianity) written by secular artists.

BOB DYLAN — EVERY GRAIN OF SAND

In the fury of the moment I can see the Master’s hand

In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand

(…)

I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame

And every time I pass that way I always hear my name

Then onward in my journey I come to understand

That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

In this masterful song (possibly Dylan’s best according to Elvis Costello), Bob Dylan sings about how the angsts, temptations, moments of doubt (“Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me”), are all signficant, but not strong enough to take away his faith in God.

Besides the Old Testament, Dylan used a passage from the Gospel of Lucas in which Jesus says: “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Other Christian songs by Dylan: “Propriety of Jesus”; “Gotta serve somebody”; and “What Can I do for you?” .

BLACK SABBATH — AFTER FOREVER

All the verses of “After Forever” deal with faith in God and question those who don’t believe in Him.

Have you ever thought about your soul – can it be saved?

 Or perhaps you think that when you’re dead you just stay in your grave  Is God just a thought within your head or is He a part of you?

Is Christ just a name that you read in a book when you were at school?

(…)

Yes, I have seen the light and I’ve changed my ways

And I’ll be prepared when you’re lonely and scared at the end of your days

Could it be you’re afraid of what your friends might say

 If they knew you believe in God above

 They should realize before they criticize

That God is the only way to love.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN — JESUS WAS AN ONLY SON

This great singer and songwriter, a lapsed Catholic, has deeply Biblical influences in his works. In “Jesus was an only son”, The Boss sings about Jesus’s Calvary and his relation with Mother Mary. The song ends with the following beautiful verses:

Well Jesus kissed his mother’s hands

Whispered, “Mother, still your tears,

For remember the soul of the universe

Willed a world and it appeared”.

LENNY KRAVITZ — BELIEVE

The Son of God is in your face

Offering us eternal grace

If you want it you’ve got to believe

‘Cause being free is a state of mind

We’ll one day leave this all behind

Just put your faith in God

And one day you’ll see it

Kravitz expresses his faith in other songs such as “Beyond the 7th Sky” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”.

QUEEN  JESUS

Besides speaking of the crowd who followed Jesus, and his miracles, this song mentions Christmas main event, Jesus’s birth.

It all began with the three wise men

Followed a star took them to Bethlehem

And made it heard throughout the land

Born was a leader of man

All going down to see the Lord Jesus

All going down to see the Lord Jesus

SUFJAN STEVENS  THE TRANSFIGURATION

The Christian influence in indie singer Sufjan Stevens is well known (mainly in the album “Seven Swans).

In the song “Transfiguration”, as stated by its title, he sings about Jesus’s transfiguration.

What he said to them, the voice of God, the most beloved son

Consider what he says to you, consider what’s to come

The prophecy was put to death, was put to death

And so will the son

And keep your word, disguise the vision

Till the time has come

(…)

Lost in the cloud, a voice

Lamb of God, we draw near

Lost in the cloud, a sign

Son of man, son of God

U2  I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

Among other religious songs by the group (“40”, “Gloria”, “Yahweh”, “Love rescue me”, and many others), I’ve chosen “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, which has the following statement of faith in Christ:

I believe in the Kingdom Come

Then all the colours will bleed into one

Bleed into one

But yes I’m still running

You broke the bonds

And you loosed the chains

Carried the cross and

All my shame

All my shame

You know I believe it

VAN MORRISON –  WHENEVER GOD SHINES HIS LIGHT ON ME

Rock legend, the North-Irish Van Morrison commonly uses a sort of Christian mysticism in his songs. One of the most explicit religious is “Whenever God Shines his Light on Me”, which says:

Whenever God shines his light on me

Opens up my eyes so I can see

When I look up in the darkest night

I know everything’s going to be alright

In deep confusion, in great despair

When I reach out for him he is there

When I am lonely as I can be

I know that God shines his light on me

(…)

Reach out for him, he’ll be there

With him your troubles you can share

You can use his higher power

In every day and any hour

He heals the sick and heals the lame

Says you can do it too in Jesus name

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!

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