Hallelujah

hallelujah-music

Easter is my favorite day of the year. For me, it is better than Christmas…as it should be.

Yesterday, my church closed out the glorious Easter service with Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from his fantastic oratorio “Messiah”. What is interesting about this musical piece is Handel’s unrelenting fervor in composing this masterpiece. Handel was nearly broke, old, a stroke survivor and out of favor with the musical community. This did not discourage him. Handel assembled something wonderful which became a classic that lives on in the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It is quite simple magnificent.

It is said that after Handel completed the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant found him in tears saying “I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God”. (http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/bibleandculture/author/bwitherington/) Handel’s wild hair flying about his face and the tears in his eyes were the foreshadowing of a song that would make even King’s stand in awe.

That’s Easter. It’s beyond our ability to put into words really. It’s so outrageous and so divine that to reduce down to mere words is almost impossible.

Music lifts the soul and is a promised part of heaven. Something tells me that the Hallelujah chorus is just the beginning.

He is Risen.

He is Risen Indeed…Hallelujah.

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: Revelation 14:2,3

Palm Sunday in September?

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Retailers have discovered the benefits of having a Christmas in July marketing promotion so count me as pleased when the Dean of our Cathedral decided to study Palm Sunday in September. What a great idea.

I love Palm Sunday where we remember Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It allows us to forget, for a moment, that this joy leads to sorrow. But, and pardon the expression, it is also the ultimate comeback story.

This particular Sunday in the church calendar sometimes seems like a warmup for Easter. Palm Sunday is an important day. It is shared in all four gospels but it is also significant for the mere fact that Jesus allows people to recognize His fulfillment of prophecy.

Sadly, these same people will be calling for His crucifixion in a few short days. It all went very wrong but in the end it was so right…for us.

What a sacrifice. What a King.

Hosannah in September and forever!

Looks can be deceiving.

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Things are not always as they seem and looks can be deceiving.

People expected the Messiah to come as a warrior King who would arrive slaying their enemies.  Instead, Jesus came as a peace-filled baby, born in a barn.

They wanted a warrior; instead, they saw the King of Kings ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Nothing Jesus did was what they perceived as being the actions of a Savior who would set them free from the challenges of their times. Regardless of the miracles He performed, and the words of faith He spoke, people still harbored doubts. In fact, they were so fickle that they turned on Jesus at the first opportunity.

Some things never change.

Isn’t it sad that they didn’t see what the Pharisees saw? The Pharisees saw a threat to their authority, they saw danger and they saw that Jesus shook the status quo.

Don’t be deceived by the things of this world. Don’t be deceived by false prophets. Don’t be deceived by people who would use any means to discredit our Lord and Savior.

This week reminds us of that danger. Don’t look back – take that first step and believe with your whole heart. Pick up your cross and follow Him.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not”. John1:10