Thursday, December 16, 2010

Halleluia!

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Earlier this week I mentioned that I went to my daughter’s high school “Holiday Program.” That’s public school-speak for “Christmas Concert.”

Whatever you call it, it’s a celebration. A birthday party for One who seems, these days, to be nameless. We’re all walking around either trying to avoid saying it or saying it so loudly that our neighbor cringes at our advances.

Why can’t we just say what it is? It’s Christmas!

Our not-so-small public school shouted it from the rooftops last Sunday afternoon, and I, for one, am so thankful for it. It’s like a pleasant surprise every year when I get to attend this concert in the middle of all the hubbub of the season. Not only because the music is so good, but also because at the end of the concert the combined music groups perform the “Halleluia Chorus.”

There we stood—parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors—some singing along, some merely listening as our students performed some of the greatest music ever composed. And as I stood in the crowd of believers and non-believers alike, I listened to the words again: “King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And He shall reign forever and ever. ”

I get choked up every time I sing those words, especially when I’m in a crowd like that. I mean, here we are, in a public high school gymnasium, singing praise to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. How amazing is that?

And proclaiming alongside my neighbors that “He shall reign forever and ever.” Amen and amen!

Some in the crowd have no idea what they are singing, no idea what it means. But when I hear those words I just can’t help but think of the Heavenly chorus that will never end. The chorus of men, women, children, and angels all singing to the King who will reign forever.

And it makes me tingle with anticipation of that Great and Glorious Day when He will come again, that day when we who have believed will finally be able to join in the Heavenly chorus. How much fun will that day be?

This week I’m thankful, once again, for our very large, very public high school. Because on Sunday afternoon I got to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

. . . in a gym

. . . with my neighbors.



Shelly

8 comments:

  1. I felt the same way when I saw this on YouTube.
    http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/2010/11/wanna-see-something-really-cool.html

    I got cold chills. I wish I'd been there. I realize that many of these people don't know what they're singing, but in spite of that, and perhaps even because of it, God is glorified.

    I also hate tiptoeing around Christmas. I am a Christian. I celebrate Christmas. Like the majority of people in our culture. Why can't we just call it what it is?

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  2. I had the same experience at my daughter's orchestra concert on Saturday when they played this at the end. The hair just stood on my arms when the whole recital hall stood for the song as one. Believers and unbelievers alike in a very secular university theatre. It was exciting!

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  3. Shelly, it's funny that you talk about getting choked up. (I'm going to "out myself" as a transplanted northerner here)

    We have a handful of theaters in our county - we're basically trying to be Branson, MO. It is nice - but we're not nearly as successful as Branson. But I digress. . .

    One of the local attractions is Dollywood. Yes, we celebrate all things "Dolly" around here - but she has made a huge impact on our area. Again, I digress. . .

    One of the most popular Christmas shows at Dollywood involves a trio of Joseph, Mary, and the Angel.

    I cry - every time - and part of the reason I cry when I watch it, is this same realization that the GOSPEL is being proclaimed to EVERY person in that theater -- multiple times per day.

    God's kinda sneaky like that. . .

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  4. I'm so thankful for the Christian teachers and administrators in our public schools!

    It's hard to choose between AB 13 and 7. . .

    I don't know how I got on your mailing list, Shelly, but yours is one of only two blogs I read, and God uses it to encourage and challenge me on a regular basis. Thanks!

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  5. I love this post . . . especially the ending.

    Your title ~ Halleluia - reminded me of somethings I read this morning. (Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner.) In her church they did not say Halleluia during the entire Lent season, so they could shout it with joy on Easter Sunday. I liked that.

    Merry Christmas,

    Glenda

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  6. That's exactly what I was thinking, Angie--God's kinds sneaky like that. Perfect!

    Anonymous, I don't know how you got here either, but I'm so glad you are!

    Glenda, I loved that book. It had a big impact on me.

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  7. I was so glad to read your blog. I feel the same way as you and I get so choked up every year. I am glad to know that I am not the only one. I thought at the end of this year's concert that I will miss this some day. I also want to add that when we first moved to Wheaton, I was shocked but glad that, while they call it a holiday concert, they don't shy away from singing religious songs in our public schools. The public school district that we came from was very PC about that and kept religion of any form out of the "holiday concerts".

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  8. Halleluia indeed. I got choked up reading about YOU getting choked up. Oh mercy. : )
    I like having your post come in to my email!!

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