Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


Easter 2024

Deacon Tom Vert

Preached: March 31, 2024

Hallelujah!! Hallelujah!! Hallelujah!!

What a wonderful sound of praise and joy!! The word Hallelujah is a word of praise used in only two places in the Bible; in the Old Testament in Psalms 113 to 118, which are the psalms of praise, and in the New Testament in the book of Revelation when the multitudes in heaven cry out with joy!!

The word Hallelujah comes from Hebrew in two parts: “hallel”, which means to praise and “yah”, the short form of Yahweh or Jehovah. So, both in the scriptures and in our singing today, we are shouting joyfully to “Praise the Lord”!

Why are we praising the Lord?

Because on this day, 2000 years ago, Jesus conquered death and gave to each and every one of us the possibility of eternal life and happiness in God’s presence! The tomb is empty, the Son of God has risen, and the Christian message of hope and love begins from this point in time, this solid foundation and moves forward influencing the world ever since.

We celebrate this great milestone today, because we are thankful that God has come into the world in this most personal way, not as a God who is unreachable and far away, but instead as one who comes close to us.

And this is why we rejoice – and the word “rejoice” here is the Greek word – “chairo” –, which means to rejoice not just because of a feeling but because we have a very close, trusting, loving relationship with God. We recognize and embrace His steadfast love for us.

This is not a stranger we have heard about or an acquaintance we casually meet – but we have a God who walks with us side by side on our journey of faith. He makes himself available in the ups and downs of life to transform us, little by little, step by step, closer and closer till we become “Christ-like”! This is His promise – I will never leave you or forsake you! I am there for you – all you have to do is ask!

We thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us:

  • When we recognize Him in the smell of spring flowers, the sound of the birds chirping, the beauty of a sunrise, we sing Hallelujah!
  • When we hold a newborn baby in our arms as a new parent, grandmother, aunt, uncle or friend and we rejoice in new life, we sing Hallelujah!
  • When we are grieving, struggling, suffering and we see Christ’s open arms on the cross and his voice saying, “come to me you who are weary and I will give you rest”, we sing Hallelujah.
  • When we hear of wars and unrest, strife in the world or our families, and we hear in our hearts Christ’s words “peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you!” We sing Hallelujah!
  • When a friend or neighbour drops by or calls us just when we need a friendly voice or a shoulder to lean on, we sing Hallelujah!
  • We sing Hallelujah because we are joyful, we are happy, we are thankful and so we praise God for all he has done before, but more importantly, for everything He is still doing now in our daily lives!

So, today, I would ask you to take just 30 seconds now to think of one thing you are grateful for…. and now we all say together: Hallelujah!! Hallelujah!!

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