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wonderfully Unexpected

by | Dec 25, 2020 | Handel, Unexpected, wonder

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Merry Christmas!!!  When I saw “wonder” would align with the day, I knew all was right with the world.  For today is full of many miracles of wonders and love, some of the best of which are Unexpected.  I am not easy to surprise, being a control freak (reforming…well… maybe), so it is the rare occasion that someone actually puts one over on me.  And it was about the time of this work storyline at Fannie, I found myself in our new home, with my eyes closed, as the family scurried about, and I heard a very long zipper opening… and I was a little worried that it might be a shotgun… 

… I had been playing in our Bluegrass group now for a number of years, and had actually bought a large bass acoustic guitar to get away from the red electric bass that didn’t scream the genre correctly 😉  Bluegrass just sounds better with a real upright bass, and as I opened my eyes, there it was – a beautiful ¾ sized bass that fit my small stature perfectly.  The wonder of the shortest guy having the deepest voice and the largest instrument is lost on me 😉  Having a “real” bass of my own was entirely Unexpected, and brings joy to me each time I see it here in my office…

The “present” Handel opened was a manuscript that was not “written” as much as “edited” and produced by Charles Jennens.  A devout Anglican, he had collected passages from the Bible about both the prophecy of Jesus’ coming matched to the reality that developed and played out in the Gospels.  His goal was to challenge the growing Diest community that Jesus was not actually divine (including Thomas Jefferson). He used actual scripture – not his words but those that were documented and validated, and tied the pieces together such that tells an amazing story and one that for many, compelling.

In our current church, we are surrounded by a very educated community of believers, who regularly read Aristotle and Plato… for fun.  And people who are not believers often challenge me with “do you actually believe the Bible?”  And sometimes I give them an Unexpected question in response “Do you believe that Plato wrote the Republic?”  

Since those challenging my faith are often “smarter”, this is not a random question.  Upon receiving my answer, I point out that the number of documented copies of the Republic that match is – 2.  Two. One and One.  That is all.  In the Bible, there are 66 “books”… the lowest number of identical copies of the manuscripts – 90. Ninety. Both have some facts… but ultimately require faith.

Not that quantity matters, but if you want to wonder about the details, feel free.  As Handel dove into the manuscript, he found a story that is still amazingly coherent, compelling, and now with his musical additions, memorable.  And the story is full of Unexpected turns and twists that I will tell more about in the next few days as they align nicely with execute and renew – another wonder

For today, a few Unexpected wonders come to my mind every year.  Christians believe that God came to earth as a baby.  Completely helpless, and dependent upon the very beings that had walked out on Him and His perfectly designed garden.  That baby had been prophesied in nearly every book of the Bible before, and now was produced exactly where it had said it would, in the way it was said, and to a family line that was predicted.  What was Unexpected at least here on Earth was what the impact of that coming would be on many, including the worldwide bestseller- the Bible with well over 5 Billion copies…

For me, I sorta knew this piece of music, but really didn’t embrace it until Beth and I were married.  Her church family had an amazing music ministry, including the yearly performance of the Messiah, with fantastic soloists.  As such, she encouraged us to listen through the Christmas season, and like many globally it has become a part of the soundtrack.  And it actually provides much of the foundation of my faith, not entirely Unexpected as music is a natural part of me. 

What is most Unexpected on this glorious day is that this is completely …a gift.  In another Christmastime staple, when faced with his own broken failure, George Bailey cries out to Potter, “Please help me, Mr. Potter.  Help me, won’t you please?  Can’t you see what it means to my family?  I’ll pay you any sort of a bonus on the loan . . . any interest.“ Nope.  You can’t buy it, you can’t barter for it, you can’t negotiate for it.  You can’t think yourself into it… You have to accept it – the free gift of your own salvation.  Today made flesh in the wonderful sign of a “helpless baby”.  Hallelujah.


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