Preparing for next week’s New Testament class found me immersed in Revelation.
It didn’t take long before I felt myself reeling from frightening words, terrified by images, puzzled by symbols. Took me back to my childhood’s Sunday night services with diagramed attempts at explaining the book of Revelation in black and red on a white oilcloth banner, hanging behind the pulpit.
Could’ve stayed shaking in memory and images, if God hadn’t shown up with a soundtrack.
It happened as I read, “The whole world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.”(Rev.11:15 NLT)
So I hunted The Messiah CD, which I’d put away until next Christmas and Easter, turned up the volume and let Handel’s inspired oratorio and God’s words tackle my terror.
By the time the Hallelujah chorus came on, I did as many have done, stood.
Choice moments come to stand against the terrors of the day or future, to take up the shield of faith in Truth proclaimed last Sunday: Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again.
Handel’s buried at Westminster Abbey. If you go, you’ll find a monument to him on the wall above his grave. It’s a life size statue of Handel, holding a manuscript of The Messiah, opened to the score, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.
Long ago, Saint Paul wrote, “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get...so when it’s all over but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet.” (Ephesians 6:13 The Message)
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