Friday, December 22, 2023

The Shadow Mocks - Vox Popoli

 There is literally nothing the petty wicked of the world will not eventually seek to subvert, not even Handel’s Messiah:

Messiah Queered — that’s the title of a reimagining of Handel’s classic oratorio performed through an LGBTTQ+ lens.

The oratorio, a staple at Christmas time for many people, will be performed by the Rainbow Harmony Project choir, together with soloists and a 16-piece orchestra made up of professional and amateur players at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The idea for the performance came up during a conversation between Nathan Poole, a local violin and piano teacher, and Sandra Bender, music director at Holy Trinity Church. Bender, who is bisexual and the soprano soloist in the performance, thought it would be a great oratorio for LGBTTQ+ people.

“It’s the story of a transient who hung out with marginalized people, who offered love and self-sacrifice and who experienced rejection and betrayal — something LGBTTQ+ people understand in all too real a way,” she said.

Kathleen Murphy, a student and choir director for Rainbow Harmony Project and the mezzo-soprano in the performance, said doing the Messiah through an LGBTTQ+ lens is “a way to push back expectations.”

The Churchians who have reduced the image of Jesus Christ to a saccharine figure who is about nothing but love, tolerance, and acceptance not only have a lot for which to answer, they are going to be in for a tremendous surprise when the King of Kings returns, riding through the blood of the wicked on a white horse.

Christ on a White Horse

I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Usually, one prays for mercy. Sometimes, though, one really hopes for justice.