We hid the ‘Alleluia’ banner with the children at the beginning of our Lenten journey – and now that Easter has dawned, I couldn’t help but dig it out again!
We use the word ‘Alleluia’ quite often in our hymns and prayers as an expression of praise. Sometimes we see it spelled Hallelujah (transliterated from the Hebrew), sometimes Alleluia (transliterated from the Greek – Greek doesn’t have a letter that corresponds with the ‘H’ sound). Both are generally translated as “Praise the Lord!”
The word is actually Hebrew in background. We find it all over the place in the Psalms. It is a combination of words hallel – which carries the sense of jubilant praise expressed in both word and dance – with the ‘ja at the end – which is short for Yahweh. Joined together, they carry the sense and meaning that we are joining in and inviting all those around to ‘celebrating the Lord’ with the whole of who we are – body, mouth, and soul!
Dancing before the Lord isn’t generally something that we westerners think of when it comes to Church. We tend to gravitate towards the sombre meditative posture of quiet listening. That’s okay – and it has its place – as we open our hearts to take God’s Word into our lives. But as a part of our Easter joy, let’s not forget that Jesus rose from the dead – Body and Soul – to redeem us body and soul – and as a result, together with the Old Testament Church – we do sing Hallelujah/Alleluia – worshipping the Lord with all that we are. So have a little dance before the Lord today. Let the skip in your step be more than just a joyful thought – let it be an expression of jubilation as we join with all the saints in celebrating the Salvation that Jesus has accomplished for us by His death and rising again.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!