Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day 19 (13):The King of Glory Shall Come In - Scene 3 (33)

HEART HEARING HERE

Scene 3 - "His ascension"


33. Chorus


Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; 

and the King of Glory shall come in. 
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; 
and the King of Glory shall come in. 
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, 
He is the King of Glory. (Psalm 24:7-10)

About the music and lyrics:


As you can see from the title Jennens gave this scene, he intended this to be connected with Jesus' ascension rather than His resurrection because Psalm 24 is placed during evening prayer on Ascension Day in The Book of Common Prayer. Ascension Day is 39 days after Easter and commemorates when Jesus gathered all His disciples, gave them the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), and ascended to heaven (Acts 1:1-11). 


Handel wrote this to be "antiphonal" and is the only chorus of its kind in Messiah. Antiphonal means when two choirs sing in alternation. There is really only one choir with soprano, second soprano, alto, tenor, and bass parts, but the altos sing the low part with the sopranos and seconds in addition to the high part with the tenors and basses on the second set of "Lift up your heads . . ." The dotted rhythms are majestic and remind you of the overture and "Behold the Lamb of God," but they are in a major key and very lively! When you get to "the King of Glory shall come in," it is almost the same as "get thee up into the high mountain" and "say unto the cities of Judah" in Part I because all flesh has now seen Him together! 


"Behold your God" people! Hallelujah! So fun! 


MIND MEDITATION


Psalm 24:7-10

If this psalm was written around the time of the ark coming to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6 (we are making an educated guess here because we do not know for sure), then the "ancient doors" were probably to the old fortress that received the ark.  The psalm acknowledges the Lord's sovereignty over all things and who is worthy to enter the tabernacle and worship. Tradition says that it was sung on the first day of each week in the temple services. 

The people outside would call to the temple gates to open up and let the King of glory in. From inside, the priests or another group would ask, "Who is this King of glory?" Outside, the people would respond in unison, "The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle," proclaiming his great power and strength. The exchange was then repeated (24:9, 10), and the temple gates would swing open, symbolizing the people's desire to have God's presence among them. 
The Life Application Bible, p. 926
And God's presence is definitely with all of us in Jesus! 

This psalm could also be a reference to the return to Jerusalem after a battle victory. Either applies to Jesus as He has won the victory over sin, darkness, and death through His resurrection from the dead! The suffering, silent Servant has become the Warrior King. WOOHOOO! 

Notice the word glory again. We hear it so much during the Messiah, but it was absent during the events leading up to the crucifixion. 

SOUL SEARCHING


I had a "movement of the soul" this morning as I wrote this post. (How can you not when you listen to this chorus?) So, I went to my personal blog and did a "freewrite" (writing continuously for a set amount of time without thought of grammar, punctuation, spelling, approval, or disapproval). I will share it here. It is my inner heart and hope it makes sense:

I am sitting upon my exercise ball in my dining room typing Messiah Meditations. I look out on the beginnings of a gorgeous Saturday in my backyard. I love these quiet moments before the beginning of background noise of men (young and old) that murmurs low but is usually present during the rest of the day. I have this moment right now where I know You are here. You smile. 
I cannot help but smile back with the inexpressible joy that comes from being in Your presence (Psalm 16:11 comes to mind). Meditating on Psalm 24 does so send me into orbs. Listening to Handel's rendition sends me further beyond. There is a life in the Spirit that is unexplainable, and so beyond all earthly joy. You cannot bottle it or bring it to someone to savor for they must go to that place all on their own, in the way that You deem it to be so. Yet, will they go there? Are they willing? "Is the reason we're not still to hear You speak because we don't believe you will?" (Michael Card, "In Stillness and Simplicity"). 
I am concerned but am powerless to make it happen for anyone but myself. (Really, You make it happen anyway, but there is a choice involved somewhere in the process.) Yet, I have those in my inner sphere who have tasted that heavenly gift. I want more to come to that deep place, but must only lead by example.  
Well, I must leave now, but will walk to my book club with Psalm 24 in mind: 
Psalm 24:7-10 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.
STRENGTH STRETCHING

Do you know this King of Glory? Do you believe that He speaks today? Can You take the time to be still before Him in the hubbub of Christmas activity to hear His voice today? Can You open the gates of your heart to allow Him to come in? 

This is a simple application but profound. As I said in my freewrite, I want EVERYONE to taste this, but somewhere in the process, there is a choice that is between you and God.


I pray you make that choice today. 
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