When I was a kid growing up in Lexington, Massachusetts, every year ’round Christmastime our whole town (or so it seemed to me) came piling into Cary Hall to sing together a rather long choral piece called
or so it was known to me, Julie, little kid version. I sang soprano or alto or whatever I felt like singing. I figured we were all there to have fun. I was right. Lexington hadn’t gone through The Big Transformation yet. That happened after I took off, many years later.
Handel’s Messiah is the story of Jesus, meaning that in no way was I supposed to ever ever ever sing any of it according to my dad. He was never thrilled that I was going to those big town events. What did he expect? Hanukkah Sing? Since the Big Transformation, I wonder if Lexington has now banned anything but the very very very multi-culutural perfectly sterile and balanced PC correct non-God or many-and-varied-god whatever. Maybe the Jewish families, at that point, just figured the heck with it, stayed home, and did their best not to burn their houses down with those last drops of oil…then again….It’s the New Lexington, so I’m sure there’s plenty of oil there.
So I was a little kid what I went to go sing and Handel’s Messiah, or the Messiah Sing, as we often called it. I remember every year it was freezing out and folks would come in, take off their hats, scarves, and mittens, and then blow snots all over everywhere. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Coming down with a cold wasn’t the End Of The World back in those days. People were allowed sicknesses without some do-gooder coming in making
The crooked straight
all the time….because frankly
CROOKED IS BEAUTIFUL.
So here’s what I was thinking just a few minutes ago:
ALL WE LIKE SHEEP…HAVE GONE ASTRAY.
What a message! Handel orchestrated that one well. We’d bellow out, “ALL WE LIKE SHEEP.” Yeah, made that one loud and clear. Then, the next line,
“Have gone astray…..” Trust me, that “astray” sure wandered everywhere, down the streets of Lexington, into Waltham, down every hill and invaded all the baseball games and wrecked the fields and tore down the endposts and barreled into the bleachers. Then, “astray” flew up and floated over the Moon. Yep, like that ole cow you saw on TV that comes from a nursery rhyme (it was stolen). Couldn’t you hardly wait to see that cow each time?
So “astray,” that’s gone far, eh?
I invite each and every one of you, if you are a sheep, please, please please,
Do bust loose today, and go as far astray as you possibly can! Handel had it right all along!