I know it is only October, but our church choir has already begun practicing music for our Christmas performance in December. This is not too unusual, seeing that some of our songs require weeks (perhaps months) of preparation.
One song in particular has really captured my attention. It is a compilation of "Joy To The World" and the "Hallelujah Chorus". I can already sense what a wonderful worshipful song this will be at the conclusion of the program. Joyful singing accompanied by an orchestra will be a tremendous finale.
This led me to do some research on George Friedrich Handel, the composer of "The Messiah" and perhaps its most popular song, "The Hallelujah Chorus". Born in Germany, Handel had written several operas before receiving the text for "The Messiah" from a man named Charles Jennens. Handel subsequently wrote "The Messiah" in twenty four days, hard to believe that a work of such beauty could be developed in such a short period of time. When he was writing "The Hallelujah Chorus", it was reported that Handel saw all of heaven before him. I can certainly understand this, seeing that "The Hallelujah Chorus" propels its listeners into the very presence of God.
Finally, after completing "The Messiah", Handel signed his marvelous work with the letters, "SDG" or Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone The Glory). Handel's signature alone would not have sufficed for this divinely inspired work.
By the time he died at age 74, Handel had composed 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, a large number of ecumenical pieces, odes and serenatas, and 16 organ works.
I hope I reach the finish line in life like Handel, one whose music continues to inspire.