New Song: Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)

23623112065_4fbb116981_kI was standing in the hospital room when the call came.  I was holding him after feeding him his morning bottle.  I heard the phone ringing from the floor across the room and could see the name that appeared on the screen so when I picked up the phone, I assumed it was our Bethany adoption specialist calling with information about the release forms being signed.

What does it sound like when dreams die?

When you get that phone call or email?

When the social worker says, “I’m sorry, but the birthmother has decided to parent the baby.”

T.S. Elliot once wrote, “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.”  He wasn’t trying to extend much hope, but that’s what it feels like sometimes.  Or at least, that’s what it felt like as the darkness momentarily descended over us.

The difference is that we serve a God who stands with us in the valley of death and also brings new life.  That is one of the main themes of our faith:  death and resurrection.

Sitting in the backyard now, life is bursting up all around me.  From the flowers blooming to the birds singing to my daughter talking non stop about how she is learning to do computer coding, the world is coming alive.  And this is just a picture of what Jesus did when he died and three days later rose again.

And why I’m telling you this!?!?!?!

The song we are learning this weekend tells the gospel story of Jesus’ death, resurrection and coming again.  It’s the perfect song to sing this time of year as we continue this season of new life found in Jesus.  However, it starts with his death…

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. -Luke 23:44

And what did Jesus death on the cross do for us?

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us… -Galatians 3:13
The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him
 The story continues with his death…
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land…Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” -Matthew 27:45, 46b
Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:30
One final breath he gave
As heaven looked away
The son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken
In theatre, we try to take people to the most dramatic point of the story or “the point of conflict”.  In this story, it’s the resurrection…
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. -Matthew 28:2
“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated
The chorus breaks into a song of praise to Jesus who was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty…
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. -1 Peter 1:21
Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!
The bridge continues the theme of “forever” by taking us to the throne of heaven at the second coming in Revelation 19:6-7 when every person in every language will cry out in praise.

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.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome
This is what it sounds like when we die and are raised again.  This is our story.  Death and resurrection.  The Lamb has overcome.
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