Handel’s Messiah is quite possibly one of the most beautiful pieces of music written, and surely the “Hallelujah Chorus” is easily recognizable. Author Albert L. Blackwell has written what I at first considered to be an apology of Handel’s Messiah, but upon reflection, I am not sure that I’ve ever heard The Messiah criticized, and therefore ‘apology’ is probably not the correct term.
This is an Advent devotional, but with using the lyrics of The Messiah (which uses biblical verse for lyrics) as the starting point for reflection.
The devotional commentary is at times beautiful and reflective and precisely what you might look for in a devotional. At other times, it is dry — too academic or clinical to be appreciated by the average reader.
Because this Advent devotional is based on a famous and familiar piece of music, I really wanted to listen to the sections that correlated with the reading.
This is not a devotional with the strongest theology that I’ve ever read, but because it’s aimed at a large group of buyers from diverse Christian backgrounds, I suppose that is to be expected. This would not replace the devotionals I get through my church, but it could be a nice addition and a place to start conversation and careful reflection.
The layout in my kindle ARC version (through Netgalley — thank you) was not particularly clean or efficient. I wold trust that this would get cleared up before publication.
Looking for a good book? For a somewhat generic Christian theology, this makes for a unique perspective for an Advent devotional by using Handel’s Messiah as its source for reflection.
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Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel’s Messiah
author: Albert L. Blackwell
publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
hardcover, 160 pages