Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hallelujah!

My friend Pam sent this video my way yesterday, and I can’t quit thinking about it.
The four minute clip ended up being about twelve minutes for me, as one viewing wasn’t enough. It’s not every day that I get to watch spontaneous corporate worship in a shopping mall food court.
The expressions and responses of the unsuspecting crowd is striking. This food court, full of families and couples and friends simply grabbing a bite to eat in the midst of shopping, is a miniscule example to me of what it will be like when Christ returns. Scripture tells us that He will appear at a day or hour that no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not even the Son, but only the Father.  Unexpected, to an unsuspecting world who is distracted by the immediacy of that day.
Some of us will be prepared at His coming, some of us will not. Similar to the responses in the video, I imagine some will respond in joyous worship by joining right in with hands raised in praise. Some will remain hesitant and then gradually engage, and then some will look around, mesmerized, but not know what’s going on.
But one thing for certain, none will remain cynical.
Caught off-guard in the spontaneous, glorious cantillation of the Hallelujah chorus filling this food court, every single person participated. The swelling voices were inescapable, and even then, no one wanted to escape. The bystanders' expressions changed from surprise to awe to involuntary worship. Their faces reveal surprise, joy, relief, and even tears of worship.  But in the end, none showed cynicism.
Because genuine worship cannot be denied.
In the case of Christ’s return, His glory and worthiness of being worshipped will not, cannot, be denied.
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
   “Hallelujah!
   For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Rev 19:6

Welcome, Advent. Welcome, Jesus.
This Christmas season, we welcome you and invite your presence into our homes, our hearts. As we celebrate your coming to this world as a babe, more than twenty centuries past, help us slow down to not be surprised at your coming. You are welcome - and wanted - here!