About ten days ago I went to a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan. I do this almost every year. A week later I was in New York for a funeral. On Saturday my daughter and I spent the afternoon together, and I did something I hadn’t done in at least forty years–eat roasted chestnuts while walking down Fifth Avenue with the happy Christmas shoppers.
The sacred and secular traditions come together for me in a blend of Christmas happiness. This a celebration of God’s glory and love. I’m reminded of the Contemplation on God’s love at the end of the Spiritual Exercises. To hear it musically, listen to the chorus “And the Glory of the Lord” from Messiah. The words are a single verse from Isaiah (40:5): “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”