My ears find almost no music more beautiful than Handel’s famous oratorio, The Messiah. When my twin sister and I discovered its splendid sounds as teenagers, the best way to express our feelings of rapture was to pretend we were conducting the orchestra by waving our arms and holding onto an imaginary baton. Our hearts could hardly contain the joy we felt listening to those beautiful strains. I enjoy The Messiah so much that I even listen to it year around. Winter or summer, its beauty and message about God’s love and redemption stirs my heart.
Listening to The Messiah is almost as nice as listening to the songbirds that surround us in nature. God has given them a special gift for all to enjoy. Yet, the songs of angels is said to be the most beautiful of all. Imagine how their songs must have stirred the hearts of those lowly shepherds on that cold, dark night of Jesus’ birth. And to think that when we get to heaven, we can join them in singing praises to our everlasting King. Hallelujah!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
A Song in the Air
When I was in the sixth grade in Minneapolis, our class took a bus downtown to hear a young people’s concert at Northrop Auditorium. Hundreds of other students also filed in and filled the rows of plush seats. Everyone was excited—not so much about the concert but the fact that we were able to leave the classroom for a new adventure.
The conductor introduced us to the fine points of classical music and then turned to face the orchestra. When he lifted his baton every voice in the auditorium stilled, waiting for that first note. Would we like the sound of the classics? At home my folks never listened to music on the radio. All I had heard was pop music my older sister played on the piano, and an occasional church hymn or Sunday School song.
Not all the students enjoyed the classical music during that concert. Many whispered and giggled throughout the program. But I became enamored from the first note. How my soul stirred with surprise and excitement at the orchestra’s renditions of Mozart and Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. I felt like I’d been transported to heaven. I closed my eyes and let the music of the classics flow through me. And I have the same feelings today whenever I hear classical music. During different stages of my life I enjoyed other styles of music as well. And I’m sure many of you have a favorite style – country, pop, folk, jazz, rock, inspirational, or others.
This time of year we hear beautiful Christmas carols. But imagine how awe-inspiring it was for the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth when they heard the unsurpassed voices of God’s angels singing words of glory and praise. I doubt that the sounds were hushed – the whole sky must have resounded with their voices. God heralded this memorable, historic event with the biggest choir in all the heavens! And some day His children will hear that choir again.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared…praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’” (Luke 2:13-14)
Lord, our voices can’t compare to those of Your angels, but our praises ring out in jubilation and humble adoration to You. You alone are worthy of our praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.