Monday, January 24, 2011

Hallelujah - Not Just Another Hebrew Word

My wonderful husband often remarks on how amazing it is while taking communion with the church to think about how many people, that very day, possibly that very moment, are communing together in celebration, remembering our Redeemer. In this stage of ministry, teaching at preaching points on Sundays and taking our kids to international Sunday school for some English and time with kiddos who are taught basic, wonderful Christian principles (like thou shalt not hit thy younger peer with a stick for annoying you), we have desperately missed the weekly communion that is our tradition. We cannot wait to celebrate weekly again with, Lord willing, Khmer believers and (Lord willing in just 11 months!) our teammates! What a privilege and joy to be a part of something so sacred, something so communal, something that has become timeless.

Reading over at Like A Warm Cup of Coffee, I have been meditating on the words I use and the words I think - the latter of which seems to be in need of a dire shot of grace from the Lord. Missing communion and pondering words, Our Father brought me some encouragement today as I sang little Bible songs with the girls on a fun moto drive around the back roads of our neighborhood:

"God is so good - Hallelujah!
God is so good - Hallelujah!
God is so good. He's so good to me!"

Ok. ok. So we sing the Kenyan version. We find it much more fitting for our "African" member of the family.

But it was the word "hallelujah" that squeezed my heart as we sang. How many believers of the Way have uttered that word over the years? How many today? How many will tomorrow? I am saying (or singing, in this case) a word that has passed through the lips of my brothers and sisters of ages past who are now shouting it before the throne of Jesus in eternal worship with eternal joy.

In Cambodia, I struggle with the urge to use common language instead of king language when talking about our faith. Cambodians need to know that God is Abba Father. I have no doubt their struggle in belief will not be a struggle to fear but a struggle to know love, His love for them personally. In my naivete and youthful enthusiasm, I have considered throwing out all Hebrew words that don't have meaning to our dear Khmer people and, often, to our dear American friends.

But how can I steal the opportunity for them to join in the chorus that started in His time, in His day, when He fulfilled the hope of man and the desire of God?

I won't.

I'm ready to say, sing, and shout HALLELUJAH with the cloud of witnesses past, present, and future, communing with them in praise and adoration.

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