Advent 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.