Thursday, September 19, 2013

Amen and Hallelujah

I have had the blessing of traveling around the world and have met many Christians.  When meeting with a person who speaks another language there can be barriers.   I have learned, however, that there are two words that are the same in all languages:  Amen and Hallelujah.  Both of these words are transliterated from the ancient Hebrew into NT Greek and, as far as I know, every other language.  We can draw a comfort from hearing these commonly used God-words.  Just as in the natural, I feel a warmth when I see a McDonald's in a foreign land, I am encouraged when I hear Amen or Hallelujah.  At a McDonald's I know that I can order the same sandwich or coffee that I can have anywhere else in the world.  those golden arches offer me a sense of stability and continuity.  Hearing Amen or Hallelujah tells me that I am among friends who share the same faith and values of all believers around the world.

Amen means truth.  Often it is translated as "truly", "verily", or "so be it."  II Corinthians 1:20 and Revelation 3:4 say that Jesus is the Amen.  He said Himself that he is the truth.  Even McDonald's changes its menus Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever(Heb. 13:8).  Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free".  To know Christ is to know the truth incarnate.  "In the beginning was the word(logos: meaning logic, reason, or truth) and the word was with God and the word was God.  All things were made by Him and nothing was made that was not made by Him...and the word became flesh and dwelt among us"(John ch. 1).  We are set free from sin to become what we are meant to be when we embrace the one who is the Amen.

Knowing the Amen leads us to shout "Hallelujah!", which means "praise the Lord"  The word is found almost exclusively in the Psalms and Revelation, associated with singing.  Christians all over the world sing because they are free.  We are created with a need to worship something and the only one really worthy of worship is the living God.  One day(and even now) there will be a great multitude in heaven singing, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgements are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bondservants on her." ' And they said a second time, "Hallelujah!  Her smoke rises up forever and ever." 'And the twenty-four elders and the living creatures fell down and worshiped God who on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"..."Hallelujah for the Lord Almighty reigns"(Rev. 19:1-6)

When my team wins a game all the fans sing of the victory with great enthusiasm: "Hail to the Redskins, Hail victory! Braves on the warpath, fight for old DC!"  When I join with true believers around the world we sing of the victory won for us by the Savior.  We sing with enthusiasm, maybe in different languages:  "Hallelujah, thine the glory, Hallelujah, Amen.!"  And our victory is not a game.  Our victory is a win over death. It is the victory of Truth and Life.

Amen!  Hallelujah!