I would like to give you the gift of Joy this Christmas. Of course, only God can give Joy. But perhaps this gift will allow some of His Joy to bubble up within you. It certainly did for me.
Imagine sitting in a crowded mall food court and seeing a young lady stand up and start singing "Hallelujah!"
To the surprise and delight of hundreds in the Canadian mall other soloists stood in turn and sang the opening lines of the Hallelujah Chorus!
Soon a very accomplished choir was popping up from among the diners and singing this most wonderful of songs. It was both amazing and beautiful. As they sang the last lines the choir members raised their hands in worship.
Click to hear the powerful, inspiring performance:
Over 46 million people have enjoyed it!
His friend Charles Jennens compiled the Scripture texts which would eventually become the lyrics of The Messiah. Read a few of them, and feel their power...
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
For unto Us a Child is born, unto Us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6).
It is recorded that in August of 1741, Handel, upon reading the Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments was overcome by their power. The music began dancing and exploding within him. He immediately shut himself in and worked night and day, often forgetting to eat. The servants could, from time to time, hear his sobs as he labored over the inspired text. Amazingly, he finished the original libretto and score in twenty-four days.
Anyone can write about events that have already occurred. The eternal beauty of Handel's Messiah is that most of it was written hundreds of years before Jesus came to the earth. Only God could have done that.
I pray that you and your family will experience all the wonder and joy of Christmas; that you will draw closer in love to your family and friends; and that you will be greatly blessed in the coming New Year.
In His love,
Dr. Tom Barrett