In the midst of the busyness of these pre-Christmas days you might find time to take in a performance of Handel’s Messiah. This masterpiece was composed in only 24 days in 1741.
A few key moments of the music and lyrics come to mind often, especially when I ponder the scriptures of these Advent days. Today’s gospel echoes the prophet Isaiah. Handel sets this to music superbly in the tenor recitative:
“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”.
When I think of a “highway for our God” these days I can’t help but think of the construction sites that will be come the new Christchurch Southern Motorway.
‘A highway for our God’…
Remember that while our deepest human desire is yearning for God, and our journey is easiest and happiest when on the highway God has given to us, in the sacraments of the Church it is God who travels the highway to us. God comes to us, to lift us up and hold us to himself.