It started in Philadelphia. On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia partnering with Macy’s and the Knight Foundation produce one of Knight Foundation’s“Random Acts of Culture” on a grand scale in Philadelphia. The Opera Company of Philadelphia joined over 600 singers from area choirs, and accompanied by the famed Wanamaker Organ – the world’s largest pipe organ – they surprised shoppers at the Center City Philadelphia Macy’s with a spontaneous rendition of the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
Then it happened a couple of weeks ago, in Canada, the foodcourt of a mall.
I don’t know about you, but wow — they brought this huge expansion to my heart that leaked out my eyes. All sorts of thoughts while I watched…
1) It was like church in a mall, which seems almost impossible to me…but it happened. Sure some where just amused, some didn’t know the words, and some just kept on eating or shopping, but some were all-out worshipping.
2) I loved the diversity of worship, some exuberant, there were a few that were emotional, some with hands uplifted, different sizes, different shapes, different colors.
3) I wonder how many knew, really understood what they were singing? Hallelujah — which means “praise God” — for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth —which means I acknowledge the God is powerful and I am not — the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ — which means I acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. He is my King. Finally that refrain King of Kings and Lord of Lords — there is no one like him. He is beyond beyond, and more than we can imagine. That’s what they were acknowledging publicly in Macy’s and the foodcourt of a mall.
4) I hate to admit it, because I’m not one to glorify shopping — but those two scenes were far closer to the reality of what heaven will be like, than any of our puffy-cloud-white-robe-harp-me-to-eternal-boredom pictures of heaven.
5) It made me laugh and cry in the same moment, it took my breath away and I wanted to yell, “Go God!” But it was about 3am and the family was asleep. More importantly, I believe it pleased God.
6) It’s a great start to the Christmas season, when you get annoyed, stressed or spent out, in the next few weeks, just come back and watch one of these, I bit you’ll have a smile on your face before it’s over.
7) One day, the apostle Paul, wrote, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. I wonder if it will look something like Macy’s in Philly and a foodcourt in Canada breaking out into the Hallelujah chorus?