I've been singing Handel's Messiah for months (since mid-January to be precise) but without really paying much attention to what I was singing. At the first rehearsal with the soloists it hit me just how amazing it is. It's the choice of texts, the way Handel sets scriptures from the Old Testament (Isaiah 53v3-6, Psalm 2), and makes it so clear that they're about Jesus. Part 2 starts with 'Behold the Lamb of God' and continues with the suffering of Christ, and ends in victory with the Hallelujah chorus (the bit everyone knows, and deservedly so.) Part 3 looks forward to the second coming, beginning with 'I know that my Redeemer liveth' and ends with 'Worthy is the Lamb', one of the songs of praise in Revelation.
Basically the words are amazing, the music's sublime and it's a generally fabulous piece to sing or listen to. Probably more fun to sing. And this isn't the fabulously eloquent post I wanted to write about it, but I said I was going to write one, so here it is.