The Real Messiah

As part of a spiritual discipline during this busy season, I am reading Paul Wesley Chilcote's Come Thou Long Expected Jesus: Advent and Christmas with Charles Wesley. For each day of the Advent & Christmas seasons, a Scripture, a hymn, a reflection, and a prayer for meditation are provided for meditation. Yesterday's reflection was too good not to share, whether you've heard this story a thousand times or just now learn it:

"Georg Friedrich Handel set this [vision of a Messiah who would liberate God's people and establish God's rule] to flight in the music of his best-known work, Messiah. This amazing microcosm of Christian doctrine and faith became famous, not through its connection with the composer, but through its annual benefit performance at the Foundling Hospital for underprivileged children in London. This Christmas tradition reminded the poor of God's prophecy of salvation, the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, and the promise of resurrection." *

We often associate the Messiah with concert halls, expensive tickets, fine attire, and impeccable orchestras. We also might conjure up images of a grand cathedral, a place of worship, and a choir donned in the best robes. But when we stop and think about the words of Scripture that Handel set to music, the words of setting captives free and redeeming the oppressed, there is a new substance to the words. Christ came as a poor person who lived among "the least of these." He came not to the propriety of a concert hall but to the humility of a stable.

This Advent season, let us remember that we are all poor in spirit. We need a Savior to fill the lack in our lives. Let us be attentive to our neighbors and bring the glory of Messiah into each other's midst through our relationships with God and our actions of love.

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
Says your God.
2 “ Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the LORD’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“ Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert[a]
A highway for our God."
(Isaiah 40:1)

grace, peace, joy, and all good things to you this Advent season--
Pastor Darian

* Morehouse Publishing: Harrisburg, New York, An Imprint of Church Publishing Inc. (2007, page 9)