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Online Worship 
Sunday Worship has moved online only due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The video is available here all week, and features two pieces from Handel's Messiah, along with prayer, hymns and sermon.
From now until Easter, a daily meditation for your Lenten prayers,
based on the text and music of Handel's Messiah,
written by the community of the American International Church.
Read
 
The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers.
(Psalms 68:11)
Reflect

Little did I know that when I volunteered to reflect on this passage that it would be the final bit of Messiah that our choir would be able to sing B.C. (before corona...).  When we’re finished will we date things A.D. (after deliverance)? 
 
Anyway, on to the passage. Have you noticed, as you read these devotions each day (and hopefully listen to the music), how little text Charles Jennens, the librettist, gives Handel to work with, and how much Handel does with it?  
 
To be honest, this little passage doesn’t seem to offer much. God gives the word, many rejoice, that’s it (come to think of it, I guess that’s the Bible in a nutshell).  Sometimes choirs even skip over it in performance, thinking that it isn’t that important. 
 
But that is to miss the very point! In Messiah we’re now past the jolly birth celebration in part one and into the heavier theological bit in part two. Jennens placed this passage here perfectly—to pause for some unabashed relief and rejoicing.
 
We could use some right now. Check out this performance, from Trinity Wall Street Church in NYC. (Start at 1:34:10)
 
Blink and you’ll miss it. It’s unabashedly exuberant, unpretentious, holding nothing back, just as it should to be when we praise God. Handel deflates any accumulated pomposity in 55 seconds flat!  As a composer it makes me smile in admiration: just let 'er rip.
 
A composers’ prayer: Dear God, thank you for the inspiration that you gave Handel to create this wonderful music. Could I have some, please?

 
Scott Stroman

Listen

Today's scripture comes from the Chorus, "The Lord Gave the Word." You can listen here on Spotify  or click on the image below to watch the video Scott suggests from Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.
American International Church
79a Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TD
0207 580 2791
www.amchurch.co.uk

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