Our church does Handel's Messiah as a sing along every year. The last two years I was in charge of coordinating the rehearsals, decorations, food, choir and orchestra and everything else in between. This year it was someone else's job. (Hooray!) And although I had every intention of participating in the choir just for the fun of it, I never really made it to the rehearsals. Last week I was talking to my friend, Liz, who is running the show this year and she asked me to come and bolster the alto section. So with one rehearsal under my belt, instead of the usual six, I jumped up there and sang tonight. I have had a cold for three weeks and left my husband home with three somewhat grumpy kids.
As I was driving to the church I kept thinking, "I SO don't want to do this. Maybe I should just turn around and go home." But I didn't. I arrived at church, warmed up with the choir, said a prayer that I wouldn't mess everyone up too much and sang.
The soloists did a wonderful job and the orchestra, despite a few gaffes, had some really talented players and a great sound. Partway through I found myself thinking, "Hey, this isn't so bad, maybe it is a good thing I came." And then it happened. Somewhere in the middle of the last song, The Hallelujah Chorus, it hit me- that feeling that makes the whole thing worthwhile. This is Christmas. This music, the feeling that threatens to rise up and choke me with tears- this is the reason that we sing this music.
Liz gave us a little pep talk before we started and what she said is the perfect description for how I felt in the middle of that chorus. She said, "When I think about the birth of our Savior and about the choirs of angels proclaiming His birth, this is the music I hear." Exactly. Or, really, Hallelujah!