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.
One of the Bible’s most famous ‘power couples’ is Samson and Delilah… but for all the bad reasons. This dysfunctional couple represent so much that is wrong with the way that God’s people have acted in their worst moments of history. Yet, our Lord God worked through the extraordinary circumstances of Samson to bring deliverance to his troubled people.
This is the topic of this weekend’s Bible talk, as we consider Samson, who was both sinner and saint, and who acts as a most-unlikely saviour to God’s people.
During our church services we’ll be having answers to these questions which you asked over the last week or two:
1 Since Jephthah was foolish to make his oath, why did he still keep it instead of admitting his folly?
2 Why didn’t God provide an animal for Jephthah instead of his daughter?
3 If a spouse leaves the marriage without mediation should the deserted spouse seek to negotiate?
4 If someone bullies you then should you negotiate or retaliate?
5 What happens to Christians in the time between when we die and when Jesus returns?
6 Why is it so hard to forgive people when they say sorry, but keep doing the wrong thing?
7 What do you do if your friend shuts you down when you try and talk to them about God?
We’re also looking forward to celebrating ‘CMS Sunday’ at our services this weekend, which is a great way to help keep global outreach to the whole world on our agenda.
So, please come and join us. The action begins at 5pm on Saturday, with all-age church and a kids’ program, followed by an awesome dinner and then youth program. Or be with us at 9am on Sunday for a more classic kind of Anglican service, followed by terrific espresso coffee.
If you’ve never joined us before, then this is the perfect weekend to break the ice and be part of the special things that God is doing in our awesome village and valley of Jamberoo.
Grace and peace, Jodie.