December 7 - Messiah - Isaiah 9:2

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7 - Messiah - Isaiah 9:2

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Handel began writing oratorios after his opera company went out of business.  In the 1730s, Italian opera companies were a big deal. Now, it wouldn't have been that far of a reach for him to begin writing Italian oratorios, however, he wrote in English. This changed everything. He was one of the first to do so and with that change; he could no longer rely on Italian opera stars from Europe, but had to use local talent. Because the oratorio was performed in many different places, Handel himself continually revised the score, transposing arias for different ranges, deleting others and adding new ones to fit the available singers.  There are many different versions of Messiah available, all written by Handel.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. The end of a tough semester for a student, the close of a bad relationship, a project nearing completion, a performance after months of rehearsals … after moving through life with our heads bent down, concentrating on the task at hand, we look up and see light.  The light brings hope of release and relief.

The world continues to live in darkness.  We worry about everything, from what to wear and how we look, to how to pay bills and meet the needs of our family who relies on us; from war on a global to the next battle we face with our family, a coworker, our boss or even a friend. Sometimes it seems as if the world out there is a never-ending source of bleakness and darkness, and we don’t know when we will next see light at the end of the tunnel.

The Israelites were in the midst of darkness and the only hope they could find was in the far future. The Messiah would come to bring light to the world.  Even though they might not see it, they hoped and prayed that one day their descendants would experience the glory that came from a Savior sent by God.

Can you imagine living in a world that had not been changed by Jesus Christ? It’s difficult for me to fathom the unending darkness that would surround us.  But, we don’t have to live that way.

The Messiah has come. His light fills the world.  Those battles we face, the seeming bleakness we see, are all things which can be set aside by allowing that light to be made manifest within ourselves.  We no longer live without hope. The Messiah has come.