Finding The Messiah In San Francisco

A friend of mine, Renee (who I met at church and who traveled with me to Congo earlier this year) is really into the San Francisco Symphony and has seen several of their performances this year. Since we’ve never really gotten on the topic of cultural enlightenment and entertainment she had no idea how much that I loved going to those types of events, too.

Since I’ve lived in San Francisco I’ve definitely cooled off on going to what my mom likes to call “artsy fartsy” types of things but that’s not because I don’t like them. I used to go to all kinds of plays, operas, concerts and yes — even ballet (even though that’s probably my least favorite of them all).

I grew up going to these types of things and I’ve only recently stopped due to some reason that I’m not really sure about. I’m guessing the mix of being newly married, living in a new city and working at a startup has something to do with it but that’s still just an excuse. Who knows.

Anyway, this past week Renee asked me if I wanted to check out an upcoming performance at the San Francisco Symphony of Handel’s Messiah and we ended up going to check it out. I guess the most interesting thing about this performance is that it’s all based around the life of Jesus Christ (hence the name “Messiah”) and all of the singing (it’s an oratorio) was directly from different passages from the Bible.

This made Renee and I very excited since we’re both followers of Christ. It also got me wondering about how many people in San Francisco would be willing to sit through two and a half hours of hearing the Bible. I soon found out that apparently a lot of people were interested as the concert hall was nearly full.

When the orchestra and voices started doing their thing I was hit with some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.¬†Mesmerized I followed along the words of scripture that were typed out in our program and tried to take in all that was happening around me. It was a powerful message and to hear the word of God communicated in such an amazing way made my heart happy.

The best surprise of the whole night and the one thing that Renee talked about a lot before the performance started was hallelujah chorus that’s about two-thirds the way through the show. It’s a turning point of the show and the around the time when the trumpets and drums are brought ¬†into the music for the first time. The iconic hallelujah chorus is something that I’ve heard a million times in my life but I had no idea where it came from. The best part of this section of music is that everyone stands up for it, which has been a tradition since the King George II stood up early for what he thought was an intermission back in the 1700s.

Take a listen to it below or over here on Youtube and I’m sure you’ll recognize it right away.

I loved this show and I’m thankful for Renee to getting me back into going to these types of events. I guess the only thing to figure out now is what we’re going to go to next.


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