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Enjoy Messiah this Christmas

This morning I let you know about a new book that provides background and commentary for Handel’s Messiah. And now I want to encourage you to take in a performance of Messiah this Christmas season. And just to get you started, I’ve done some of the work, at least for those of you who live in a few major cities.

Messiah is one of the last distinctly Christian cultural events. Think about it: every year thousands and thousands of people pack concert halls to hear people sing Scripture set to music. They hear prophecies of a coming Messiah, they hear of his birth, they hear of his death and resurrection and they hear of his coming return. It is a remarkable thing. I almost feel a responsibility to support this kind of an event. I try to go every year and always enjoy it immensely.

I think you should do the same. It’s really quite easy to find a performance. I typed a few cities into Google and quickly found performances in:

New York - New York Philharmonic with the New York Choral Artists. Avery Fisher Hall. December 14, 15, 16, 17, 18  $37-$120

Toronto - Toronto Symphony Orchestra with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Roy Thompson Hall. December 16, 18, 19, 20, 21. $38 - $107 (I’ll be there on the 18th, I believe!)

Atlanta - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus. Atlanta Symphony Hall. December 2, 4. $29 - $59

Philadelphia - The Philadelphia Orchestra with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale. Verizon Hall. December 19. $49 - $105.

Orlando - Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra with First United Methodist Church of Orlando Choir. Margeson Theater. December 13. $28. Note: There is also a free performance by the Messiah Choral Society. Click here for information.

I could go on and on. Los Angeles has their annual Messiah Sing-Along which allows you to bring your own score (or pick one up there) and join in the singing. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will be performing it on December 3 and 4. Dallas Symphony Chorus will be celebrating Easter with Messiah in April. And these are just the major events. Countless smaller churches, choirs and orchestras will also be offering performances.

So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets, buy the book, and prepare to have your soul stirred.