5th September 2013

Reflections From Handel’s Messiah~ Hallelujah!

 “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.”
Revelation 19:6 (NIV 2011)

My first – and most unusual – encounter with Handel’s masterpiece ‘Messiah’ occurred at University. One Saturday morning I woke up to loud voices singing “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” 

Had the time of Christ’s second appearing finally happened?! Reality sank in fast. There were no angels filling my room with song. Instead, there I was, still in bed, with the world just as it was before I drifted off to sleep. My neighbour had got carried away and turned up his CD player to full volume. 

Despite my initial disappointment, my rude awakening began an appreciation of Handel’s great work. Of all the wonderful elements to ‘Messiah’, I have heard the Hallelujah Chorus played the most. It is such a memorable and powerful composition, filled with great joy and energy. 

“Hallelujah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew expression into Greek (and then English), which can only be found 4 times in the New Testament, with all 4 occurrences in Revelation 19. Interestingly, most English Bibles translate the Hebrew (when found in the Old Testament) “Praise the Lord”, as seen at the beginning of Psalms 146-150. 

“Hallelujah” is a powerful word that uniquely captures a moment of celebration; in fact, I often hear it in secular environments. I once heard it proclaimed in the office – after someone solved a particular problem with their computer! 

Revelation 19 is a wonderful chapter full of rejoicing. It reminds us that one day the world’s way of doing things will finally come to an end. Something new will take over; humanity’s attempts to run the Earth without faith in God will vanish away like an early mist on a sunny day. All will celebrate. “I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God’” (Revelation 19:1). 

The Lamb of God has triumphed. In his victory, he is building a new heaven and earth, where you and I shall live out eternity. We don’t see it yet, but one day the veils will come off and we will all sing in wonder. And there will be only two words that will fit the occasion: “Amen, Hallelujah!” (Revelation 19:4). 

Dear Father, we praise you. Hallelujah! You are not a weak God, but one who has conquered all through Jesus Christ. We await the time when all will be revealed and the world will rejoice together in song.

Study by Ian Woodley


ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation: 
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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