Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah
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Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Forty reflections journey in order through the oratorio, taking the reader deeper into less-often studied texts like Malachi 3:3 and bringing new light to oft-recited passages like Luke 2:9-14. Each reflection offers the libretto from Messiah, the same passage in NRSV, and a brief commentary on the text, written by a respected scholar or pastor. Readers can peruse the book at leisure or examine one reflection per day throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.
Albert L. Blackwell is the Reuben B. Pitts Professor Emeritus of Religion at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the founder of The Piedmont Resource Center, and received Furman's Meritorious Teaching Award in 1977. He also serves as director of the choir at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville.
Karen RWAGender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Thought provoking reading for the Christmas season!November 18, 2015Karen RWAGender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4This is an interesting set of readings for Advent based on the Scripture from Handel's Messiah. Not a light and fluffy feel good devotional, but one that gives a lot of food for thought. Handel's Messiah is hands down one of my favorite classical works, so reading a devotional based on the Scripture was such a lovely idea to me.
After a thorough introduction to the work, the reader is given a list of the libretto and the Scripture it's based on. Each day's selection includes the words from the piece, then the whole section of verses it comes from. I loved this part! It was wonderful to read it in the context of the actual Bible verses it was taken from. I had no idea where some of it was located, like the aria My Redeemer Liveth is from the book of Job. The devotion for the day includes contextual and cultural background to the section, then an application. It was interesting reading, made me think and put it into perspective for today. There were deep spiritual insights in some, and left me feeling hopeful, which was uplifting for this time of year especially. The writing took a bit of concentration for me to get through sometimes, but a few nuggets of truth could be found in each. It has an ecumenical feel to it, appealing to Christians of many denominations.
Recommend to readers looking for a deeper spiritual read for Advent. It would make a wonderful gift for a Christian musician.
(Book provided by NetGalley and the John Knox Press in exchange for an honest review.)
jeris real reviewsAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The Messiah is God's word for us, given in love, set to music.November 18, 2014jeris real reviewsAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah is the subtitle of this book. It is a compilation of the scriptures that Handel's Messiah are taken from. This devotional was written to be used during the advent season with each of forty writings taking us through the thirty or so days prior to Christmas. If you have ever heard the Hallelujah Chorus then you have heard the most listened to part of the Messiah. There is much more to the composition than the chorus, including the story of Christ through His birth, life, death and resurrection. The devotionals are made up of a section of scripture with a brief reflection on that portion and the hope it holds for us as Christians. Much of the Messiah was taken from Isaiah, but also scriptures from Zechariah, Psalms, Corinthians, Luke, Hebrews and Revelation. Each section also lists the movement at which each scripture reference can be heard in the music. It is recommended that you may enjoy listening to each movement before reading that corresponding scripture and devotional. Every Valley really is a study in what Handel was trying to accomplish when he wrote the Messiah. The separation into parts makes it easy to pick up each day where you left off the day before. Part 1 is Christ's Birth and It's Foretelling; Part 2 is Christ's Passion and Resurrection; Part 3 is Christ's Eternal Reign. I have never heard the entire Messiah performed and this book makes me think I would like to hear it all. I appreciated the quote given by Albert Blackwell in the forward of the book, in which Handel, after being congratulated on Messiah as "noble entertainment" for his listeners, replied "I should be sorry if I only entertained them, I wish to make them better." The Messiah is God's word for us, given in love, set to music. This is a book that will encourage you to reflect on God's gift to us at this Christmas season. This devotional was compiled by Jessica Miller Kelly with multiple contributors.
I was given a complimentary e-book review copy by the publisher, Westminster John Knox Press, in exchange for my honest review. These words are my opinion.
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