This morning I was reading a Facebook post about a Canadian theater group performing a unique version titled Messiah/Complex.
You can read about it in these links.
Sounds interesting and should be a moving experience with stunning photography.
I avoided posting my comments directly on Facebook and put a couple of thoughts here instead.
You can read the history of Handel’s Messiah on your own, but it is interesting to note it was originally controversial. And was first performed in Dublin, not England. Also, note that Handel did not actually write the text. Wikipedia describes it well as an:
English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer.
As a devout Anglican and believer in scriptural authority, Jennens intended to challenge advocates of Deism, who rejected the doctrine of divine intervention in human affairs. Shaw describes the text as “a meditation of our Lord as Messiah in Christian thought and belief”, and despite his reservations on Jennens’s character, concedes that the finished wordbook “amounts to little short of a work of genius”.
At the end of his manuscript Handel wrote the letters “SDG”—Soli Deo Gloria, “To God alone the glory”.
Certainly consistent with the Chief and Highest end of man..
I think it is great that the Messiah/Complex performance uses common and native languages of the Canadian people.
But in the process I hope the truth of Messiah is not lost by focusing on the Complex.
One troubling comment I read was…..
As were the soloists themselves. “My aria is simple, humble and grabs at your heart with its tenderness,” Edmunds says. “When I sing it, I truly connect with the light that we can all shine on each other.” Handel’s Messiah, then, like Christmas, transcends its religious origins. Or as Chaieb puts it, “It’s not just Jesus’s story anymore.” Hallelujah to that, one might say.
Hopefully the truth of the Light that shines in the Darkness, the truth about Jesus will be recognized.
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
For me, the words in the KJV and the music Handel wrote capture most of critical doctrines about the History of Jesus. This is a history proclaimed through out not just the New Testament, but as Jesus revealed to his disciples, in the Old Testament scriptures themselves.
Luk 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
During this Christmas season I am spending time reading more about Jesus the Messiah, going through the texts of the Westminster Larger Catechism, please join me…
Start at the beginning or pick up where we read:
Q. 36. Who is the mediator of the covenant of grace?
A. The only mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father, in the fullness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever.
And continue through question 60.
“SDG”—Soli Deo Gloria, “To God alone the glory”.