A Pastoral Word
Seeking the Messiah…
On our journey through Lent, our theme will be: Seeking the Messiah. We will do this by taking a look at various Scriptures and singing music during our worship services and Sunday School time, all which recall the promises of God’s Messiah for God’s people. We are doing this because each one of us has our own images, beliefs, concepts of who the Messiah is for us as people of faith and hopefully through our seeking, we will gain a better understanding of how these concepts and images can be found in the person we call Jesus that we proclaim as our Lord and Savior. The term Messiah means “Anointed One” and refers to the one that was to come that would fulfill the promises of God, that would redeem the people of God and bring wholeness to them once more. The concept of the Messiah occurs both in the Old Testament and the New Testament and is part of our tradition as people of faith. As Christians, we see through the lens of the resurrection that Jesus is God’s Anointed One, the one we call Christ, the one who died on a cross and gave his life so that we might live eternally. This is why we proclaim him to be our Messiah, the one who redeems us, the one who nourishes us, the one who makes us whole through the gifts of grace and love.
We begin our Lenten journey on Sunday, March 13th. So here is some background on the Messiah to help prepare us for the journey:
“George Frederick Handel was born into a music-loving family in 1685 in Halle, Germany. In 1710, he settled in England, where he composed music for the king while also writing and producing Italian operas. He lost large sums of money on the lavish productions he mounted. Penniless, he decided to return to his native Germany, but first he fulfilled an obligation to write an oratorio in English to raise funds for Irish orphanages.
His close friend, Charles Jennens, gave Handel a libretto for a new oratorio. Now, an oratorio differs from an opera in that it is performed as a concert without stage, sets, costumes, or dramatic action. It is usually based on Scriptural texts. The oratorio proposed by Jennens had three parts-Jesus’ birth, His death, and His resurrection.
During the 24 days in which Handel composed the work, he wrote feverishly, barely touching any food or drink. Each of its three parts includes a series of solos and choruses, each based on a Bible passage. The first performance of his Messiah on April 13, 1742, in Dublin, Ireland, conducted by Handel himself, was a huge success.” (Messiah: Daily Devotionals for Lent)