48. Handel's Messiah: A Devotional Commentary by Joseph McCabe

I do not recall where I heard about this little book. It had some quotes that were real gems; but overall, I was not super impressed. He does not cite the references for the Scripture he uses in the text. If I did not know my Bible, I would not know they were Scripture. He does reference the Scripture in the references in the end though. 

Here is my favorite quote from the whole book. I have never been able to put into words what the "Hallelujah Chorus" part of the oratorio does to my soul, but I think he has captured much of what is in my heart:

Through an everlasting mercy the trumpets do sound in the soul. The goodness and the kindness and the love which once we knew arouse as if from long sleep. Our finest nature comes forward, and we behold the true self like a long-lost friend. If not seized and cherished, the moment passes, and the soul returns to sleep again, to a long sleep. Your spiritual chance is in the finest moment. Lengthen it, nourish it, say to that nobility within you: “This is the person I can become.” For if you don’t, life will lull you to sleep again, smother you in convention again, choke you with success again, choke you to death, spiritually.

The burning desire to have the buried self be more and more your true self is the finest gift we can bring to Christ at Christmas. Let Messiah do its good work in the soul’s deep places, then rise in faith to that height you know as fact when the chorus calls you to worship him who is “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”

Handel’s Messiah: A Devotional Commentary, p. 87

One thing I do not like about the book is that he leaves out the more unpopular parts in the main body of the book. He has an appendix with most of them, but I think if you are going to write a devotional on this great work, you have to include it all and explain why those verses are there within the context of the whole. So, that is my biggest disappointment. 

I like Forty Days with the Messiah much more; and, of course, I like the one I wrote (review soon to come) better too! LOL! 
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