Watch Those Hallelujahs!
Really Listen to Those Lyrics…
During my student ministry days in Colorado, a couple of teens wanted to share their new favorite song with me. These teens loved Jesus, served in student ministry and were great kids. Now, they are great adults. In my sweet blue Kia Spectra SX 5 speed, they had me listen to Cold Play’s newest song. They started singing along … AND then it got awkward. You see, they loved the sound but never chose to pay attention to the lyrics. All of sudden, they were singing about a headboard knocking … you get the picture. Not the typical soundtrack you’d listen to in your pastor’s car. The lesson was … pay attention to the meaning, not just the feeling/rhythm of the tune.
Christmas Eve Planning Meeting
A few months ago, our Thrive team started planning for the Third Annual, Amazing, (You need to be there!) Family Candlelight Thrive Christmas Eve Service. Whew! That’s a mouthful. But seriously, don’t miss it and don’t let your friends skip it!
Okay – back to the point… get ready for some conversational blogging.
My dad was in town and said, “Have you heard Justin Timberlake sing “Hallelujah?” It’s powerful!”
We said, “Justin Timberlake?” Then thanks to Google, we pulled up the song and we listened.
I said, “That’s one of my favorite Christmas songs… can you guys (referencing the worship team at Thrive) pull it off?”
Vince Lichlyter said, “Of course!”
Discovering Hallelujah Doesn’t Always Mean Christmas
About 20 minutes later, I started to plan on inviting someone to play cello to help with the “Hallelujah” song and Vince clarified, “Are you serious?”
“Yeah man- the song is awesome!” (Meanwhile, Meg and Amber are furiously trying to find the lyrics; thanks again to Google.)
“Have you heard the song?”
“Yeah – it sounds great!”
“Play the song and listen…”, (Meg reads lyrics aloud and then we listen to the words on the video…)
“Whoa! That’s a dirty song we should never play again!” I was totally surprised.
It was little awkward listening to that song with my parents in the room. Quite honestly, I don’t know how to sing the words Hallelujah again without having that memory of this planning meeting come into my mind.
A few weeks later, the song starts appearing on social media everywhere. Great Christian friends are sharing how amazing it is – thinking it’s about praising God for sending Jesus…”Hallelujah!” However, passionate singing of the words “Hallelujah” does not mean it’s a Christmas Song to sing while caroling around the neighborhood. Your kids might be a bit confused and the neighbors a bit shocked. We might be like the teens in my Kia Spectra jamming out to the sex-filled Cold Play song. It’s just a bit awkward …
Christian Words Aren’t Necessarily Used In Christian Ways.
Listen closely… David, Bathsheba, tied to the chair … hallelujah …
It’s interesting how we hear Christian stories and Christian terms and automatically assume it holds a Christian meaning.
To be fair, there is a Christian remake of the song by Cloverton, but this is not the version filling my facebook feed.
This Christmas – We won’t be singing the Hallelujah song at Thrive … We will be singing awesome songs that reflect the love, grace and power of Jesus. Can I get a “Hallelujah?” (Sorry… I had too!)
This Christmas, let’s remember the meaning and not get caught up in the noise.
See you on Saturday night, the 24th for the Thrive Christmas Eve Service! You can come this Sunday too for the next sermon in our series called, “Socks and Underwear.”