Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Ordinary Begetting the Extraordinary

This week (and the weekend before) has been very intense. I felt like Jack Bauer in 24... rushing to beat Cupertino's clock in the USA in order to send in my Christmas e-book. And... guess what? I'm still only 75% done. -___-. Stressed...

But I saw how God empowered me to get it done on the first night. And how He has been sustaining me. :)

Hmm. What other good can I see in this?

Well, I ... oh yes! saw how He is guiding my efforts even as I write. E.g. inserting part of Handel's "Messiah" soundtrack into the e-book. :) It does come out very neatly. And Huiying and Jon's help as well.

Endurance too? I see what God is doing to strengthen me... and I also am learning HOW God supernaturally empowers artists and writers to do His work. Sort of like how He used Handel and CS Lewis to write a piece of music and a book respectively.

And you know, Handel's "Messiah" - with the super-famous "Hallelujah" chorus - had a very mundane reason. As Wikipedia describes it:

In the summer of 1741 Handel, depressed and in debt, began setting Charles Jennens' Biblical libretto to music at a breakneck speed.[3] In just 24 days, Messiah was complete (August 22 - September 14). Like many of Handel's compositions, it borrows liberally from earlier works, both his own and those of others. Tradition has it that Handel wrote the piece while staying as a guest at Jennens' country house (Gopsall Hall) in Leicestershire, England, although no evidence exists to confirm this.[4] It is thought that the work was completed inside a garden temple, the ruins of which have been preserved and can be visited.[5]

Handel wrote the "Messiah" because he had to earn some bread. :) But whoa. He wrote it with all his heart... and one tradition has it that when Handel was writing the "Hallelujah" chorus, "Handel's assistant walked in to Handel's room after shouting to him for several minutes with no response. The assistant reportedly found Handel in tears, and when asked what was wrong, Handel held up the score to this movement and said, 'I thought I saw the face of God.'"

:D Wow. :) Yes, I'm stirred again to write this e-book for Jesus. Let it be my (and Huiying's and Jon's) Christmas gift to the Lord Jesus Himself.

Hee. I love this stanza the most, which I wrote for the e-book, because I think it's the most theologically summative and most moving description of Christ's humility in the whole story. :) Meekness and majesty, manhood and deity... and once again the mystery and the beauty of the Incarnation grabs me anew this Christmas.

Humbly, humbly, how He sleeps
God a baby, love came deep
Down here on the earth below
Can he see the stars aglow?
Humbly, humbly, how He sleeps
God a baby, love came deep

Thinking about it... one more message about Christmas - and the Messiah Himself - is that God can make marvellous magic and miracles out of the most mundane things that we do. Things such as giving birth. Things such as a baby in a manger. Of shepherds doing their daily work (night shift I guess), of a government census - normal admin and all that...

I think one more wonder of Christmas is not that God can do magic and miracles... but that He can so skillfully weave in all the wonderful stuff that happens into the very normal fabric of space and time.

So perhaps one lesson to carry away from my storywriting experience is that God can work through very ordinary people, very ordinary things, very ordinary moments and very ordinary reasons.

Perhaps the meaning therefore, of life, is this: that the ordinary things in themselves are the true intended miracles - that this world, broken though it is, is the true miracle... the reason the ordinary things of life seem so stifling is that they are now broken, but the good news is that God intends to redeem every "ordinary" moment of our lives... so that we do the same things again and again, but with a newfound wonder - the wonder of a newborn child.

"Life is full of sweet surprises
Everyday's a gift
The Son comes in and i can feel Him lift my spirit
Fills me up with laughter, fills me up with song
I look into His eyes of love and know that i belong

Bless us all, who gather here
The loving family i hold dear
No place on earth, compares with home
And every path will bring me back from where i rome
Bless us all, that as we live
We always comfort and forgive
We have so much, that we can share
With those in need we see around us everywhere

Let us always love eachother
Lead us to the light
Let us hear the voice of reason, singing in the night
Let us run from anger and catch us when we fall
Teach us in our dreams and please, yes please
Bless us one and all

Bless us all with playful years
With noisy games and joyful tears
We reach for you and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams
We ask you bless us all

We reach for you and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams we ask you
Bless us all...

:) The wonder of the ordinary, and how the ordinary begets the extraordinary. :D (An ordinary girl giving birth to the Messiah...)

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