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Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of…
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Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah

by Jessica Miller Kelley (Editor)

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t has been years since I have heard Handel's Messiah or seen it performed live. It is one of the most beautiful musical and spiritual pieces I have ever heard. Listening to Handel's Messiah is part of many Christmas traditions and one I have enjoyed listening to the last few weeks.

EVERY VALLEY gives readers a more in depth look at the scriptures and offers insights into the history of the readings. Each movement offers a reflection on the verses the music is based on. You will understand why the music reaches highs and lows and the basis for the lyrics.

You can read it while listening to Handel's Messiah or read each chapter daily as you work your way through Advent. There are forty reflections with forty being an important biblical number. Forty is the maximum number of days in the Advent and Christmas seasons combined. This allows the book to be read through the start of Advent and continued through the twelfth day of Christmas. You could also read through before or after listening to a performance of Messiah. There isn't a better way to reflect on the real reason for the Christmas season than by reading and listening to God's word. You will never hear the Messiah the same way again.

Since the Advent and Christmas season can be hectic, stressful, and for some a difficult time, readers can find comfort in the Scripture, reflections and the music. Reading and hearing the assurance of God's promises can offer a hope and a calm like nothing else can.

I found many of the reflections on the movements interesting and once listening after reading the scripture background, I understood the meaning behind the movement even more. In fact, from Movement 11, I realized the correlation between Advent beginning during the darkest time of our year and how our days get shorter and shorter only to reverse right before Christmas. Our sunlight hours begin to lengthen and remind us that Jesus has come to be our light, leading us out of darkness.

If you are looking for a way to connect with Christ during this Christmas season, I highly recommend EVERY VALLEY as a way to dig deeper and appreciate Handel's Messiah even more. ( )
  Staciele | Nov 29, 2014 |
Handel’s Messiah is typically associated with the Christmas season, but it actually tells the story of Christ through many different phases – birth, life, death, atonement, resurrection, and glorification.

There are 40 reflections included in this book, based on the Scriptures from the King James text, that comprise the libretto of Handel’s Messiah. The devotions can ideally be used from the start of Advent through the twelfth day of Christmas. I recommend listening to a recording of Handel’s Messiah, a masterpiece which is truly awe-inspiring, to enhance the readings of these devotions.

I’ve been perusing Every Valley for the last few weeks, but plan to read it, in depth, during the Advent season. It is certainly a rich source of Bible study during the Advent season or throughout the year. I highly recommend this devotional and my rating is 5 stars.

From the book – After the first presentation of Messiah in London in 1743, Handel wrote to a friend, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them. I wish to make them better.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  wrbinpa | Nov 10, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0664259987, Hardcover)

Handel's Messiah is one of the most beloved musical works of the western world, playing an especially sentimental role in many people's Christmas traditions. The libretto of the work, taken directly from the King James text of fourteen books of the Bible, has turned many otherwise forgettable phrases into memorable, singable, cherished lines of Scripture.

This gift-worthy book will delight and inspire classical music fans and those for whom Messiah is a beloved Christmas tradition with essays exploring the theological, historical, and pastoral implications of the Scriptures that make up Handel's Messiah.

Forty reflections journey in order through the oratorio, taking the reader deeper into less-often studied texts like Malachi 3:3 and bringing new light to oft-recited passages like Luke 2:9-14. Each reflection offers the libretto from Messiah, the same passage in NRSV, and a brief commentary on the text, written by a respected scholar or pastor. Readers can peruse the book at leisure or examine one reflection per day throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:24 -0400)

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