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Preface: Let Us Sing of Greater Things

No. 1 – Sinfony (Overture)

Music courtesy of The Falls Church Anglican Choir, Falls Church, Virginia, under the musical direction of Simon Dixon. Audio mastering by Andrew Schooley. From Messiah by George Frideric Handel (1742)

Listen to the full playlist for Handel’s Messiah.

“And without Controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the Flesh, justified by the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

– 1 Timothy 3:16

Years before I became a Christian, I drove past a church with a sign that read, “We believe that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will return to earth someday soon.” I thought, “What a wacko cult! How can anyone believe such stuff?” After becoming a Christian and learning a bit about the faith, I realized that this is exactly what all Christians believe! And it is indeed staggering to consider each of those events and their implications for our world.

Another way to think about the incarnation, the atonement, and the consummation of all time (for that’s what those three events encapsulate) is to use the biblical term mysteries. The way the New Testament uses that word, it’s not something scary or strange but, rather, something that was hidden for a time and is now revealed. And that revelation is marvelous, wonder-filled, and awe-inspiring.

Handel chose 1 Timothy 3:16 as the first Scripture for his oratorio to prepare us for all that will follow. The Messiah wasn’t just another historic person who taught some nice lessons and performed some dazzling miracles. He was God in the flesh. And the news of His arrival has been and continues to be preached around the world with radically transformative effects for individual people and entire societies.

But it’s easy to lose sight of the wonder of this message. We may have heard the statements I saw on that church’s marquee so many times that they’ve devolved into vapid clichés or mind-numbing mantras. We need to be awakened to the splendor of the Christmas event and message.

May it be that this Advent will be a time of personal renewal and wonder. May we want to stand and sing Hallelujah every day!


Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation. You entered time and space
and took on flesh. Help me to marvel at the wonder and mystery of the
Messiah and sing of greater things, Amen


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Randy Newman

Randy Newman is the Senior Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism at the C.S. Lewis Institute. He has taught at several evangelical seminaries. After serving for over 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written six books, Questioning EvangelismCorner ConversationsBringing the Gospel HomeEngaging with Jewish People, Unlikely Converts: Improbable Stories of Faith and What They Teach Us About Evangelism and his most recent, Mere Evangelism. Randy has also written numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He earned his MDiv and PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity International University.

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