Handel’s masterpiece, The Messiah, has inspired millions through the centuries. Few know, however, that George Frederick Handel composed The Messiah in approximately three weeks. The music literally “came to him” in a flurry of notes and motifs. He composed feverishly, as if driven by the unseen Composer to put pen to paper. It is also little known that Handel composed the work while his eyesight was failing. Or that he was facing the threat of debtor’s prison because of large outstanding bills. Most people find it difficult to create under stress, especially when physical or financial problem are the root of that stress. And yet…Handle did.
He credits the completion of the work to one thing: joy. He was quoted as saying that he felt as if his heart would burst with joy at what he was hearing in his mind and heart. It was joy that compelled him to write…forced him to create…and ultimately found expression in the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Handel lived to see his oratorio become a cherished tradition and a popular work. He was especially pleased to see it performed to raise money for benevolent causes.
When joy is present, Jesus Christ is expressed.
… for they joy of the Lord is your strength. ~ Nehemiah 8:10