Music for the soul
December 14, 2021 | Bob Bierwagen
About the author: Bob and Pam have been members at ZPC since 1986. They have been blessed with 5 children, and 4 grandchildren and celebrated their 41st anniversary this past October. They have both served as Elders and Deacons at ZPC and have been involved in numerous ministries including Kairos, Great Banquet, Prayer Team, and Bob with the Praise Band on Sundays behind the drums. Music has been and continues to be an integral part of family life for 6 generations including some very talented grandkids.
Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.”
When I first read those words as a child, I could understand them. I knew they were part of the Good News of Jesus, and that they had been written almost 700 years before Christ was born. Yet it wasn’t until I was 12 years old and in 7th grade that I really felt the power of them. On a snowy night in December 1967 our choir teacher loaded us up and we drove to Plymouth, IN to hear a choir perform Handel’s Messiah. The performance was in the Plymouth High School gym. I do not remember whether it was the high school choir, or a local municipal choir – but I remember being transfixed with the beauty of the composition. And then they got to the Hallelujah Chorus!
That part of Handel’s composition you have probably heard whether or not you have experienced the entirety of the Messiah. But my first-time experience of hearing it broke something loose in me. Not just the joy of the words, which were immediately recognizable, but the depth and beauty of how Handel had pulled the harmonies and notes together in a fashion that was clearly beyond human capability.
My soul literally lept within me – and I knew that while the Hallelujah Chorus was penned by Handel, it had been written by God himself! Even to this day whenever I hear it, I am transported back to that moment. This link of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBZ7AfZR9xs will transport you there as well. If you are like me, you may want to make sure you have some Kleenex handy first!
God has gifted each of us with special gifts and talents. He has also blessed us with his Spirit living inside of us. The Christmas season is a great time to remember traditions from past years, as well as the opportunity to create new traditions which honor our God and creator. I pray that whatever tradition or experience moves you the most this season – that God causes your soul to leap with the understanding that you are so loved that God came to earth in the form of a human baby that we could know and experience his love fully – each and every day!
With your family, your Home Group, or even in a quiet alone time read this scripture. Discuss and/or reflect on its meaning – and then click the link and listen to the music. May the Holy Spirit stir your soul as he never fails to stir mine.
What a wonderful, loving, and merciful God you are! From generation to generation, you show us in your Word your unconditional love for us, and your unconditional commitment to fulfilling your promise for us to spend eternity in your presence - by taking on human form and coming into our world as an infant to change history though your Son Jesus. I pray that we celebrate the fulfillment of your promise and your love this season; and that by your Spirit that you help us focus on the quiet calm of a silent and holy night, rather than the commercial and noisy experience that Christmas has become, which distracts from the birth of our Savior.
Father, we also lift those for who the Christmas season has become difficult through loss of family members, financial hardships, isolation, health problems, and the difficult changes and challenges that are part of everyday life here on earth.
Lord Jesus, I pray that you wrap your arms around those who are dealing with these kinds of struggles, and that through your Spirit, we may each experience your light and the hope of your promise that you are with us in every moment in everything we face. That you provide comfort, and strength, and hope to all – for that is the promise you gave us through Isaiah and with the assurance that; “The Zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.”
All this we pray in Jesus precious name! Amen and amen!!