Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Handel's Handle on the Messiah

It was 1741 when George Frideric Handel composed the Messiah. In the mix is the song For Unto Us a Child is Born. He used Isaiah 9:6.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

That's good stuff and hopefully you're humming the tune in your head by now. In case it isn't, listen here. And that's nice. It's got good stuff.

But I like to look at the context of Bible verses. Especially the famous and popular verses, we can learn a lot by where they are found. I kind of wonder which groups might sing this song with such flourish if it began with verse 5 from Isaiah 9.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.

At least now you have something for the guys to look forward to as well. If you know the tune, I think you can hear how the high tenor voices would do these lyrics justice. The echoing of 'every garment rolled in blood' would bounce off music halls quite nicely. 

On a serious note, especially in the context, notice where the focus returns in verse 6. It's on a child. And it's not the child crying for attention. It's a child on a mission with a Dad who will not give up His glory for another. 

The same is true this season. It's all about a child.

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