Tonight is the 94th annual performance of Handel’s Messiah…It will be at Community of Christ Auditorium. This will be the last performance there, because next year it will move to the new performing arts center in downtown Kansas City.

There are so many thoughts / emotions tied up in that one word…”Messiah.”

Yes, it includes the performance…sadness about the Auditorium tradition ending…but also delight that the Kansas City Symphony wants to keep the tradition alive with the Independence Messiah Choir, even if it will be in a different venue. And yet, in many ways it’s coming full circle, because the early performances of Handel’s masterpiece were in downtown Kansas City…and so, in some ways, we’re closing the circle.

But there are also deeper meanings to that word–“Messiah”–meanings that in many ways are caught up in the words of this oratorio.

I could be picky and say that there are places where Handel got it wrong…where he didn’t have the insight of current biblical study and scholarship, and so his use of the scripture is just all wrong. And some might.

But when I sit and listen to it–to the whole thing–there is such a celebration of the One whom I believe came to show us the way to develop a closer relationship with God…who came to bring healing and wholeness.

And the power of the music isn’t limited to “formal” performances. Just watch what happens when a choir breaks into the Hallelujah Chorus in–of all places–a food court!

Nor can I forget the power of “I know that my Redeemer lives”…or “The trumpet shall sound”…

As we move into this season of Advent, I am reminded by Messiah of so many meanings….that Christ has come once….that he will come again…and that my challenge is to live in such a way that my life will truly show that I believe the music I hear.

One thought on “Messiah

  1. Hi Pam. Several years ago, before my mother died, you may recall that I made a trip to Independence specifically to savor Messiah one last time. Rumors had it that it would not be performed again, and I just couldn’t let go of the unique flavor of hearing it in the Auditorium.

    Jack Ergo was at the top of his form; the exquisite musical taste in the instrumentation supporting choruses and soloists respectively was unforgettable. And Roy Schaefer, sitting behind me, was exulting in the Hallelujah chorus with his by-then fading tenor voice. And I saw some familiar faces in the choir from many, many years ago.

    I do enjoy your updates, Pam, and as you know find the passing of an old guard in church and family distressing. Please convey my greetings to your mom and to your Aunt Dorothy. I can’t travel by air any more, and we may not have occasion to see each other again … but I’m glad you’ve taken the initiative to keep our family ties alive and well.

    Much love, and good wishes for your health and happiness,


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