The music of G.F. Handel filled Augusta Victoria Church this noonday in Jerusalem. In all of the church there was not one inch of space that was not filled with brilliant sound. The sound of voices, the sound of a magnificent pipe organ, the sound of symphonic strings and oboe. Laudate pueri Dominum declared God's grandeur as its eight movements curled their way up to the mosaic rafters of the vaulted ceiling. Perfect pitch, perfect harmony, each note synchronized with the other along side of it. Even the icons looking down upon us were filled with song and came alive with radiance.
Music has that way about it. It expresses the ineffable in ways that transcend out human understanding. We are left simply to feel the divine through sound; to absorb the miracle of life and breath before us. Handel's work gives voice to Psalm 112, the blessings of the righteous. Happy are those who delight in God's commandments...the upright will be blessed...they will be remembered forever.
After the concert I climbed the tower of Augustus Victoria which looms over the holy landscape. In one direction I saw Jerusalem and in another, the Judean desert dotted with Arab towns. Faintly I could see Jordan. This is a place of unrest and turmoil but also of peace and calm. However you want to name it, no matter what you think of it or whatever side of the political spectrum that you decide to spend your time, it is here that God has chosen to expose humanity for our delightful and dreadful ways. It is here also that God calls so many faithful to.
It is good that there are people among us who are honest enough to admit that things aren't perfect but, in spite of it all and determinedly so, will continue to work towards justice for everyone. The Psalmist calls them righteous and Handel gave musical expression to their intent today.