If I sing “Hallelujah” I want that “Hallelujah” to sing out from our suffering, I want that “Hallelujah” to sing out from our love. If I sing “Hallelujah” I want that “Hallelujah” to sing out from our deepest reverence, To sing out from our fullest praise, To sing out from a gratitude we feel in the marrow of our bones. If I sing “Hallelujah” I want that “Hallelujah” to sing out from our delight, And to sing out from our sorrow, To sing out from our yearning To sing out from a peace we have come to know, if only for a moment in this life. If I sing “Hallelujah” I want that “Hallelujah” to be a ‘cold and a broken “Hallelujah”’* and to be a warm and a whole “Hallelujah” To be truly sacred To be truly the “Hallelujah” of a Sacred and a Broken People Wounded and yet whole
A people singing fully as the embodied souls Singing wholly as the ensouled bodies** Out God has created us to be Our God who is not some distant engineer, our God who is not some merciless judge, Our God who is not some petty tyrant, But our God, the Holy One Beyond Name who truly is the creator, the sustainer, the redeemer of all, Our God of the Eternal Spirit in which we all live and move and have our being Our God who joins us in our condition, in the flesh Who comes to us As the risen Christ came to those disciples locked in their homes, afraid of the pandemic of hate raging outside Who comes to us As the risen Christ came to dear Thomas who refused to believe it until he’d seen it As the risen Christ who came to them, and comes to us, Fully as an embodied soul Wholly as an ensouled body Shining with the heart of all being, its power greater than death Yet marked and scared by the wounds of life The bitter bites of the lengths to which human beings can go to keep heaven divided from earth, The bitter bites of the violence to which human beings can resort To deny the ensoulment of each other’s bodies, to deny the embodiment of each other’s souls To crucify, whether by hate or fear or greed or pride or neglect Our God of the risen Christ who in life cried: Metanoiete! Wake up to a new mind and a new heart: The realm of heaven is here! Shake off your hypocrisy! Wake up to the Divinity nearer than you can conceive. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” “Let heaven and earth become one.” “Truly I tell you, the Realm of God is among you, within you.” And: beyond us, way beyond us, beyond the limits of our life, beyond the boundaries we place on life and death, beyond the boundaries of what we think is possible, beyond the boundaries of our limited love, through and beyond the veil of tears and out into an all embracing peace. As God has loved me so I have loved you. Abide in my love, and so love one another, serve one another, die for one another, and so rise with one another together as one with the new heaven and new earth.
It is for this that I sing “Hallelujah” “Hallelujah” in the midst of our tremendous grief “Hallelujah” in the midst of biting injustice “Hallelujah” in the midst of hearts broken open by love “Hallelujah” in the midst of songs and prayers interweaving the globe “Hallelujah” in the midst of our fierce hope in the forces of life that overcome death. The “Hallelujah” of a Sacred and a Broken People Wounded, yet whole A people singing fully as the embodied souls Singing wholly as the ensouled bodies Our Creator has made us to be.
For that Creator and for that Christ, I give thanks this day.
*”A cold and a broken Hallelujah” – Leonard Cohen **”Ensouled bodied” “Embodied souls” – Karl Barth, as referenced in Rodney Clapp “Life After Life After Death”, Christian Century, May 17, 2012