Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing moon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
-Christina Rossetti, from the poem “Christmas Eve,” 19th century
In breathtaking speed over three weeks spanning August and September in 1741, the composer George Frederick Handel composed the musical masterpiece The Messiah- and in the four centuries since, it’s become one of the most well-known pieces of music in the world, and perhaps the most widely familiar aesthetic expression of the Christian story. Even if you’re relatively unfamiliar with Christian faith or the Scriptures, you’ve likely heard The Messiah performed during the holiday season, or taken in its famous “Hallelujah Chorus” on the soundtrack of a film or in the bustle and din of holiday shopping.
Handel actually wrote his great symphony as an extended narration of and meditation on the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, utilizing a wide range of ancient texts from the Scriptures, and during the Advent and Christmas seasons at Liberti, we’ll be immersing ourselves in the Scripture texts featured in Handel’s masterpiece which promise and celebrate the arrival among us of Jesus of Nazareth. So whether you’re a longtime Christian, or you are only beginning to explore spiritual realities, plan on inviting a friend and joining us to taste the hope and grace of Jesus the Messiah!
Out of town? Miss a week? Want to listen in online? Click here for sermons in this series.
Check out our Advent and Christmas Page for information and events happening this season!
Liberti Advent & Christmas Prayerbook- Advent and Christmas are ripe seasons to begin or renew a life of Christian spiritual practices, and so we put together this e-prayerbook featuring reflections and meditations, poetry and hymns, and a daily rhythm of Scripture meditation and prayer to help you anticipate and celebrate the birth of Christ. Our Advent & Christmas Prayerbook is available to download in multiple formats here!
Goodness & Light - This anthology of reflections by Christian ministers, thinkers, and writers from around the world, and all the various branches of the Christian family tree will guide you from Advent longing for God through Christmas celebration of the birth of Christ.
Christmas Poems - Poetry wakes us up, opens our eyes, puts us in contact with mystery; and this collection of Christmas poems, hymns, and carols from the Everyman Pocket Poets Library pictures vividly the beauty, irony, and mystery of the birth of Christ.