Review of Every Valley: Advent With Scriptures of Handel's Messiah

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Handel's Messiah is still one of the classic musical performances of Christmas. Throughout the years there have been multiple versions of this beautiful, classical Christmas music. And one can't help but be drawn into worship with the first strains. In fact, when I read the title of this book- Every Valley: Advent With Scriptures of Handel's Messiah- the words of the Messiah began ringing through my mind. And so I loved the idea of this book. From the description:

 Handel's Messiah is one of the most beloved musical works of the western world, playing an especially sentimental role in many people's Christmas traditions. The libretto of the work, taken directly from the King James text of fourteen books of the Bible, has turned many otherwise forgettable phrases into memorable, singable, cherished lines of Scripture.

This gift-worthy book will delight and inspire classical music fans and those for whom Messiah is a beloved Christmas tradition with essays exploring the theological, historical, and pastoral implications of the Scriptures that make up Handel's Messiah.
Forty reflections journey in order through the oratorio, taking the reader deeper into less-often studied texts like Malachi 3:3 and bringing new light to oft-recited passages like Luke 2:9-14. Each reflection offers the libretto from Messiah, the same passage in NRSV, and a brief commentary on the text, written by a respected scholar or pastor. Readers can peruse the book at leisure or examine one reflection per day throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.

 And I wasn't disappointed. There are forty meditations in this book so that it can be used during Advent and throughout the twelve days of Christmas. Each meditation begins with a Scripture phrase from Messiah. The reference for the phrase is also given so that you can look it up and read it in context. Then the context of that phrase in the Messiah is given, the words of the classical piece. And then there is a brief commentary with something for the reader to think about as he meditates on this Scripture.

 Any music lover or fan of the classical piece will enjoy these Advent reflections. I love that the words of Messiah are are the basis for the meditations. And I also love that the passages from which those words are taken are there in context as well. I didn't know the Biblical context for each part. The reflections are thought provoking, leading the reader to really think through the Scripture. 

Every Valley is a great personal Advent devotional, or it would make a beautiful gift- especially for a music lover.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.