Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it…
And Christ became a human being and lived here on earth among us and was full of loving forgiveness and truth. And some of us have seen his glory — the glory of the only Son of the heavenly Father! (John 1 Living Bible)
Opera was waning in popularity, and a depressed Handel thought to move from his London home on Brook Street back to Germany. Then in 1741 he was given a manuscript of prophetic passages taken from the Bible about Jesus, the Messiah, by Charles Jennens.
Consumed with putting the Scriptures to music, Handel locked himself away for twenty-four days. A visiting friend found him weeping uncontrollably as he spoke of seeing heavens open and the glory of God.
With all ticket sales benefiting the poor, Handel chose popular, secular artists performing in theaters, not churches, for the masses to hear, not of a distant and disinterested deistic view of God common in that day, “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Today, whether performed by choirs in the Sydney Opera House or flash mobs in the Mall of America, Handel’s Messiah, every Christmas still stirs like no other music ever penned.