If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Welcome to another Terrific Tuesday, where we take a look at God’s word, His kingdom or His people to see what we can learn about ourselves, Him and/or our relationships with Him.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, ’tis the season. Of course, merchants have been telling us that ever since Halloween—or the Fourth of July or whenever—but I’m not talking about the season to buy all kinds of stuff to take home and wrap in pretty paper and bows. Nothing wrong with that if you want to. But that’s not what I mean when I say ’tis the season.
To me, it’s the season to remember the birth of our Savior. To commemorate the voluntary incarnation of the Creator of the heavens and the earth to become human. All history up to that time had pointed to this event. This was the most important day in the history of the world, and although it most likely did not occur on December 25, that’s the day we celebrate it.
The essence of Christmas spirit, to me, is not “Here Comes Santa Claus.” It’s not eggnog and parties. It’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Over the millennia since His birth, many musicians have written songs, carols and symphonies to honor Him. I love listening to all this Christmas music. I don’t even mind a “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” now and then, as long as most of the music is to honor Jesus.
But there’s one work that stands above and beyond all others in my estimation when it comes to Christmas music. I’m not basically a classical music fan, especially vocal classical music. I’ll trade operas for Opry any day.
However, this season brings up one exception to my normal attitude toward the classics. I think Handel’s Messiah is beyond all competition when it comes to the most moving piece of music ever written. My first exposure to it came as a young teenager, just after my voice change removed me from the Texas Boys Choir. I sang bass with the Southwestern Baptist Seminary Choir’s performance of The Messiah. Must have been Christmas of 1957. I immediately fell in love with it. The piece most people think of when they think of The Messiah is the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Mine, however, comes right before that famous chorus: the soprano solo, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.” When a good soprano sings that, I always feel like I’ve been raptured straight to heaven.
Please listen as Lynne Dawson sings this glorious piece and see if you don’t get a little of that feeling, too:
I hope you enjoyed this rendition, and I hope you enjoy the music all the way through the holiday season—and have a Merry Christmas. Just remember Whom the season celebrates.
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