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Monday, November 10, 2014

EVERY VALLEY: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah By Albert L Blackwell

Every Valley by Albert L. BlackwellPublisher:  Westminster John Knox Press
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Pages:  160
Genre:  Religion

About the Book:  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.
 
Wanda's Thoughts:  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.