An Even Grander "Hallelujah"

So apparently I was the very last person in the Philadelphia region to watch the "Flash Opera" that took place at Macy's downtown. If you haven't added to the 6 million views on YouTube, this "random act of culture" involved Opera Company of Philadelphia quietly intermingling among the shoppers and then bursting forth into song once Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus was played on the organ. Who knows from the footage who's a professional soloist and who just joined in once everyone around them was singing, and who really cares: what resulted was a spectacularly grand moment of song and culture and spontaneity and unity. No matter what your religious persuasion, it seemed you could not help but belt out your own "hallelujah's" and get more than a few goosebumps at how exultant was the resulting cacophony of voices in this great and quintessentially Philadelphian location.

After finally watching the video, I could not help but think of what it presages, which is a grander and more spectacular spontaneous bursting forth of song. For as marvelous was the "Flash Opera" at Macy's, and as regal a setting, they pale in comparison to countless angels raining down worship in the presence of God Almighty, seated on His throne.

We who profess to be born-again believers, especially those of us who are well-educated and solidly middle-class, can tend to think of our God in fairly buttoned-up terms: we are in relationship with Him, He walks with us, He instructs us, He comforts us, He guides us, and as needed He chastises us. All well and good.

But I guarantee to you that when we come face to face with the Almighty, we will have but one response, and it will be instinctual and emotional and all-encompassing, and it will be worship; that is, the ascribing of worth to something so much greater and grander than we have ever seen or known. And it will be nothing but joyous and natural to join in with the multitude of angels that have been doing the same for a very long time.

A note about those angels. While it may be incorrect to focus our adoration on the incredible magnitude of their collective worship rather than on that which they are worshipping, neither ought we downplay just how great is that scene. For, while we are on this side of glory and can only begin to imagine how great our God will be when we see Him face to face, we can probably imagine more easily the spectacle of countless angels rendering glorious sounds that reverberate through a grand hall, which can help size for us just how great is the cause of all of that praise.

Here in Philadelphia, they may not have been angels, but the members of the Opera Company, and those unprepared other shoppers who join with them, were very much angelic, in their singing and in their joy. I appreciate this glimpse of something of what is to come, and can only begin to fathom in my finite head and heart that if the "Flash Opera" moved me and gave me goose bumps, how much more will I be overcome when I am on the other side of glory.

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