Sunday, December 21, 2014

And what you do lasts even longer

Two evenings ago, my husband and I attended a performance of Handel's Messiah.  For two and a half hours, members of the audience sat on the edge of their seats, speechless and amazed by the Word of God sung with great power.  The text of the oratorio was printed in the program, the scriptural references sadly excluded, but one could not deny that something different was going on here.

...and laid on Him
       the iniquity of us all.

These words were not the composed poetry of man, but Isaiah 53.6, written down more than 800 years before Christ.  One hundred and sixty voices blended into a profound whisper.  The music tapered into the silence of heaven, as His truth covered the concert hall. 

And then, when the first notes of the Hallelujah chorus drifted through the air, tradition bid the audience to stand.  But these spectators -- no matter their worldview -- could not help but literally jump to their feet in awe and reverent attention.

The efforts of vocalists and musicians transcended from a performance into worship.

On an ordinary day in 1741, Handel sat down to compose, and in twenty-four short days, he produced the masterpiece called the Messiah.  Little did he realize that two hundred and seventy three years afterward, God would still be using his work, touching and transforming a people yet unborn.  He had no idea.

Neither do we.

If there is no God, ... then everything you do at work will be forgotten, and nothing you can do in your career will earn lasting significance.  But if Christianity is true, then "every good endeavor,"... no matter how small, "can matter forever."   Those are the words of Timothy Keller in an interview in the Wall Street Journal (12/20-21/2014, page A13).

What you do impacts all eternity.  It profoundly changes you, everyone around you, and leaves a legacy for generations to come.  We have no idea what that may be -- an encouraging word that helps redirect a life, your own rendition of the "Messiah," or as in the case of Brother Lawrence three decades as a lowly dishwasher, a long abiding faithfulness in what God placed before him.  You are precious in His sight.

Take courage,
all you people of the land,
         says the LORD,
        for I am with you,
        says the LORD of hosts,
...My Spirit abides among you,
                         fear not.

                       Haggai 2. 4-5

And God will redeem the rest.

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