This week I was reminded of two significant memories from the 1980’s.
The first was the iconic images of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, when civilians were gunned down by Chinese soldiers during a protest for democracy.
The second was the song ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’, a song I sang repeatedly throughout my teenage years in youth group and church.
These two memories came together as I witnessed news reports of the millions of people protesting in Hong Kong against the threat of being extradited to mainland China for trial for dissent.
Due to an anomaly in the legal system, there is a greater leniency towards Christian gatherings than political protests.
So, as the crowds gathered to protest, they followed the singing of Christian voices who turned this iconic chorus of the 70’s and 80’s into a modern meme for freedom and democracy.
Yet, as this song rings out in the public sphere, there is another level of subtle political subversion, for the lyrics of this Christian anthem unite the singers in praising the name of the Lord above all other rulers.
For as they sing on earth, they are united with the multitude that also gathers in Heaven to worship Jesus, whose shouts sounded “like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder”, as they cried out”Hallelujah! For our Lord Almighty reigns!” (Revelation 19:6)
As they chose to proclaim this Hebrew word ‘Hallelujah’ which means ‘Praise the Lord’, they made the bold statement that Jesus is the true ruler over all.
And as the millions gathered in Hong Kong to protest about the threat to freedoms, they also invoked the name of the Lord, who is the true ruler over all.
No matter what political fights we might experience, the greatest ruler of all is Jesus, the Lord of all, who is truly worthy of praise.