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During worship today, we sang a lot of songs with hallelujah/alleluia in them.  I sensed a theme.

Hallelujah and alleluia mean the same thing but in different languages.  Hallelujah is the Hebrew, Alleluia the Greek. It means “praise Yahweh”.  Praises to God, Yahweh being one of God’s many names.

Wikipedia has a great definition.

In the Hebrew Bible hallelujah is actually a two-word phrase, not one word. The first part, hallelu, is the second-person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb hallal. However, “hallelujah” means more than simply “praise Yah”, as the word hallel in Hebrew means a joyous praise in song, to boast in God.

So today,we boasted in God.

Hallelujah, You have won the victory
Hallelujah, You have won it all for me

These are the songs of humankind.  Angels, friends, can’t sing these songs.  They have no frame of reference. Sure, they can probably sing songs never heard or seen on any kind of clef – treble, alto, tenor, or bass.  They might play Aeolian harps up there, glorious worship pouring from their dazzling celestial bodies.  They might be 20 feet tall! They worship God in His Almighty presence, right in front of his throne. Angel song, I would imagine, would put our best musicality to shame.

But they have no need of cleansing, no need to restore broken fellowship.

Hallelujah to the Name of All Names
Hallelujah to our God be all praise…

As I stood on stage, all I could think about is Jesus’ sacrifice for us continues day by day.  We struggle to keep unity in the body, the place where commanded blessing dwells (Psalm 133).  We fight for unity in our families.  We teeter on the edge of falling out of unity in key relationships.  Yet God’s grace and forgiveness abide.

We sing hallelujah, we sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah, the Lamb has overcome…

This week, I had visits from both the local Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.  Fresh-scrubbed women dressed in their best met me at the door.  Gutsy, going door to door in this day and age.  One lady asked me, “How can we serve you?” I appreciated their hearts. And while I also admired their pluck and determination, I wanted to tell them, “It doesn’t matter how much you serve.  You can give until you have no money, time or health left.  But don’t do it.  You simply can’t earn salvation.  Your sin and my sin take a blood sacrifice in order to cancel our transgressions.  At the end of your life, Jesus won’t look at your extravagant, monumental effort and tell you it mitigates your need for a savior.  Period.”

So I say again, Hallelujah!  The free gift cost Him everything and set us free. Because of Jesus, we can work together in love and harmony to serve His purpose. May I always boast of His great sacrifice.

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