Hallelujah Even Here!
In the Hebrew Bible, it is a compound word, from hallelu, meaning “to praise joyously,”
And yah - is a shortened form of the unspoken name of God.
Its trumpets and full choir, full voice, at Easter time. It’s angels in light, and riches beyond measure being brought to Bethlehem. Its verses like we hear from the books of Job and Psalms. The glory of an all-powerful God, who laid the foundations of the earth; who sends forth rains, and lightning, and fire; who commands all of creation, and all within it. “Hallelujah!” Glory to our God and king! Hallelujah! Our God is sovereign! Our god is triumphant! Hallelujah! And for many, that literal meaning, that heartfelt praise, that joyous acknowledgement of God’s glory, that Hallelujah, is more than enough.
Focusing on the inevitability of God’s victory and taking that positive thinking into every aspect of our lives. Reflecting the good news of the gospel in our perspective on everyday life, we see any setback, any suffering, as not the final word -- rather as something that will, in the end, be defeated by the good news of the gospel. Some have called it the Power of Positive Thinking.
Broken Hallelujah’s can also give strength. It’s been said that grace enters our lives through a wound. God is still present in and through the evils of suffering, even through the horror and pain, we come to understand the healing power too in that broken Hallelujah. It gives us the chance for redemption, for salvation, for new life today; from the ashes of tragedy. And if we see God even in and through the suffering, is God there in those who have hardened their hearts? If the divine is everywhere, if God is in everyone, is there a possibility for transformation? Yes! The Holy Spirit moves in wonderful ways.
From the very beginning, our faith as Christians has been about the proclamation of joy. And when we lose sight of that joy, that hope, our broken Hallelujah’s, that’s when our faith seems grey and drab. From the very beginning of our Christian story to the very end, joy is at our core. The gospel of Luke begins with the angels singing “for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy,” even on those bleak country hillsides and subsistence living and medical treatment in a cattle stall and manger. And at the ending of the book of Luke, with the horrors of torture and death and persecution sitting like fresh wounds in their hearts, Luke writes: “And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”
Coach Sharon G