Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hallelujah?



Just that.

And it's those broken Hallelujahs which I find so overwhelming these days.

The broken Hallelujah of disappointing church leadership, the broken Hallelujah of mission creep in the church, the broken Hallelujah of misplaced focus on ourselves and our own good works and our pious practices and not on God as the source of all mercy, the broken Hallelujah of our disingenuous relationships with each other which are "nice" but not honest or genuine, the broken Hallelujah of unmet expectations and hopes, of confusion and mixed messages, and worst of all, the unbroken Hallelujahs that I break myself in the uttering of them.


Yet,

Here's what the composer of the song has to say on its meaning: 
"... Finally there's no conflict between things, finally everything is reconciled but not where we live. This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled but there are moments when we can transcend the dualistic system and reconcile and embrace the whole mess and that's what I mean by 'Hallelujah'. That regardless of what the impossibility of the situation is, there is a moment when you open your mouth and you throw open your arms and you embrace the thing and you just say 'Hallelujah! Blessed is the name.' And you can't reconcile it in any other way except in that position of total surrender, total affirmation.

"That's what it's all about. It says that ... you're not going to be able to work this thing out ... there's no solution to this mess. The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in this moment when you embrace it all and you say 'Look, I don't understand a f***ing thing at all – Hallelujah!' That's the only moment that we live here fully as human beings."  (Leonard Cohen)

Perhaps getting to that point is the goal of Christian maturity.

I'm afraid I have a long way to go.