Singing Good News

June 1, 2020 · Print This Article

Have you seen any of the virtual choirs?

My Facebook feed has seen an increasing numbers of them. From the United States Navy Band singing One Voice to The Irish Blessing dedicated to frontline workers sung by 300 churches. Choirs have found a way around isolation to sing good news to us all and they’re good.

This weekend we get not just a virtual song but a virtual oratorio! Thousands of members of a worldwide choir will be joining voices to sing the well-known baroque-style Handel’s Messiah. It is set to be a feast of delectable sounds. Composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts. Messiah is a unique oratorio; it is not a drama of personalities, nor an encompassing narrative, instead it offers contemplation on different aspects of the Christian Messiah.

Scene 5 of the second part alludes to the Christian festival of Pentecost, a day celebrated just yesterday. It includes the enigmatic three-minute piece called How beautiful are the feet of Him. Now feet have never struck me as beautiful, in fact they are often described as one of the most undesirable parts of the human body. So why are these feet beautiful?

Sung at an andante pace in D minor, we get a rather simple set of repeated words, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace…Glad tidings of good things”. What makes these feet beautiful is the good news they brought with them. Handel is referring to a message first spoken this past weekend some two millennia ago. So what was good about this message?

Known as the gospel of peace, it is a message about the peace that can be experienced personally today, and a peace that the preachers shared would one day be experienced universally. This good news is that there is a God who is for us, not against us. Who is intimately interested in our well-being and wants a good life for us. Who wants us to live into our potential; who will be there for us through the good times and the bad. A God who offers us a relationship through forgiveness and newness of life.

If you would like to find out more about this good news, then reach out; we would be happy to hear from you.

Richard Fowler

Richard is editorial assistant at Because

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