Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. For the Elliots this means finishing each day with a reflective time around the Advent candles.
I think sometimes this is the only way I have kept my equilibrium in the midst of an often much-too-busy season.
Last Sunday was also the first Messiah practice. For 23 years – ever since Christmas 1988 when I received that first family ticket from my English Bible Class students – the annual Messiah Concert in Hirosaki has been one of the highlights the Elliot family’s Christmas season. Sadly, this year there will be no Christmas performance.
But there will be an Easter performance on March 23, 2013.
And this Christmas we are contenting ourselves with listening to the pieces one or two a night as we work our way through Joseph E. McCabe’s “Handel’s Messiah: A Devotional Commentary.”
My mother found the book at a yard sale a few years ago and it has sat gathering dust in the corner by my closet for a number of years. As a commentary it is perhaps not so particularly profound, but it does give us a pattern for reflecting on the music that touches our hearts so deeply.
“When Biblical truth is joined to music that reaches the soul, then the human spirit soars… may our lives be redeemed by the Eternal, who meets us here in Messiah.”