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December 24, 2009

Handel’s Messiah: magnificently written by a broken man

by Dave Malnes

It’s funny how God greatest accomplishments usually come from broken men.

The story behind the composer, George Frideric Handel, in regards to the masterpiece, “Messiah” comes from the hands of a man who at the time was broken financially, physically and emotionally.  This came to the light in a recent article by Marvin Olasky entitled “God’s Hand is in it” in the recent WORLD magazine.  The article is based on an interview with Lauren Green, an accomplished pianist and religion editor for FOX news.

Since reading the article, I did a Google search on the life of Handel and found it be interesting and inspiring.  Handel was a very famous composer in his time.  He attempted to make his mark Italian opera, but struggled both with the music and with his opera company.  On the brink of disaster, Handel applied his genius and creativity in writing oratorios.  During this time of painful transition, Handel composed the “Messiah”.  Upon completion of writing the amazing “Hallelujah” chorus, the article quotes Handel as saying, “I do believe I’ve seen the gates of Heaven.”  Handel went on to find great success while living in London until his death.

Great things are done by broken man.  That seems to be a recurring theme throughout Paul’s epistles.  When we are weak, then we are strong.  It is at man’s depths, that we are exposed for what we really are — sinful, inherited flesh who amounts to nothing and anything we feel that we do accomplish is nothing but dust in the wind.  The hard realities of life leads us one of two courses — abuses and addictions for the purpose of distraction or just pure laziness.  A life given up on.  Or, there is another way.  To truly see our purpose through the words and promises of God.  We are no longer defined by what the world sees us, but renewed by the status given us — a child of God.  An heir of royalty.

As we celebrate Christmas with loved ones, we can reflect on the King who was born in a manger.  A king who would suffer and die for the purpose of taking our place of sin, so we can be receive all glory from above.  That thought alone can bring the Merry back to Christmas.

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