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Monday, April 18, 2011

Mid-life Crisis—and Lavish Praise

            Today's story comes from two sources—Robert Coleman and Charles Colson. In the 1740s, a 57-year-old man was going through a severe depression. He had been rejected by the best and the brightest in Great Britain. His business deals had not worked out, and he was deep in debt. He was exhausted, and he retreated into seclusion.
            A manuscript arrived from Charles Jennings, a well-to-do, self-supporting poet. Jennings gave the man suffering a “mid-life” crisis a document celebrating the work of the Messiah, Jesus.
            Jennings's lyrics, or libretto in the musical term, utilized 53 scriptures. They told the story of Jesus’ birth, His life, suffering, death, resurrection, and His second coming.
            Now, the aforementioned depressed man was a composer. He had collaborated with Jennings before. After receiving this latest material, he locked himself in his room for several days. Refusing food and company, he worked maniacally on his composition.
            At last, he finished. Today, we know this work by the name of that depressed man; it is an adjective; people all over the planet call this work, “Handel’s Messiah.”
            With our lips and lives, whether depressed or exultant, by faith we offer our confession of Christ unto God for the sake of the world.

14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.  15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name… (Heb. 13:14-15.) NIV 1984

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