Saturday, March 22, 2008

He Shall Reign

I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself

Although it is a popular Christmas offering, the stirring Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" is actually the triumphant celebration of the risen Lord. It is Easter music. To listen to it is to shiver with chills.

It is documented that Handel had a religious experience while he was sequestered for the 24 days in which he had been inspired to write "Messiah." As one servant described it, "He was praying, or he was weeping, or he was staring into eternity." Interestingly enough, this muscial masterpiece called "Messiah" was completed on September 14, 1741--during Rosh Hashanah, which began on September 11 that year.

"Messiah" premiered in Dublin, Ireland, in April 1742. The music is as popular today, 266 years later, as it was during King George II's standing ovation. In my opinion, "The Hallelujah Chorus" was Handel's ticket into heaven.