The simplified meaning of “Alleluia” (or “Hallelujah”) is to praise the Lord.
After a Lenten-long absence, it was perfect timing to welcome back the “alleluia” during Easter Sunday worship. As I partook of song, liturgy and scripture readings, this joyous proclamation rang out clearly and often. A later program and hymn lyric review revealed eighty-six alleluias all within this hour-long event! If multiplied by four different services our church had scheduled that day, the amount grows to 344.
Multiplied further by how many churches and homes celebrated Jesus’ resurrection in cities worldwide…added to countless media broadcasts and personally shared sentiments…there must have been more “ALLELUIAS!” than can be measured!
Yet, our Lord is worthy of more.
A glance around my home-church family yields many reasons for growing the alleluia count:
For each previously separated couple now reunited, or newly single/widowed person sitting all alone - there is a hope-filled future.
For every retired couple never too tired to share their time and wisdom - there is God’s faithfulness and reward.
For the adoptive, foster, blended or special needs family – there is acceptance and love.
For one who pushes the wheelchair of a husband, wife, parent or child– there is patience and restoration.
For the unwed, barren, postpartum or miscarried mom – there is peace and grace in Jesus’ arms.
For those unequally yoked who persevere – there is God’s promise of joy and gladness.
For faith-sharing members who bring multiple generations in worship together – there is abiding love.
For each selfless servant who teaches, preaches, counsels, comforts, or volunteers for any little job that keeps the congregation running seamlessly – there is gratitude and God’s blessing.
For the prodigal, battle-worn, addicted, abused, lost or lonely child of God (and for those who pray ceaselessly for them) – our Savior grants forgiveness and his strength to fight onward.
For each mini-miracle that unfolds within my extended church family, multiplied by congregations that gather faithfully and represent even more unique circumstances – there is plenty of reason to shout:
“ALLELUIA!” one more time.
God’s people meet in worship and praise with unified purpose: to glorify the risen Christ who lived on earth and conquered death for sinful folk like you and I.
The eternal real estate reserved for each believer is THE place where “alleluias” never end.
Pastor closed our Easter service with the timeless: “He is risen!” echoed by: “He is risen indeed!”
Just then, a back-pew toddler shouted, “YEAH!”