The other day I was listening to Handel’s Messiah Alleluia chorus while driving back to work from the dentist. It was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – the men and women alternating singing the words “And He shall reign forever and ever. Alleluia, Alleluia. Lord of Lords! King of Kings! Alleluia, Alleluia!”
I had it on repeat and the drive from dentist to work afforded me the opportunity to sing along 3 and 1/2 times. I was not only singing, but fully participating with the truth of the words. I had it blaring, full volume. I mean, I was rocking out like it was Springsteen or Bon Jovi – windows down, sun shining, wind through my hair, singing at the top of my lungs and waving my one hand in the air, reaching up to heaven (other hand on the steering wheel).
Here it is – but before you click play just be sure you are in a private place where you can sing and wave your arms about (at least one of them).
As I was singing the awe-inspiring and somewhat repetitive chorus it struck me that it IS a repetitive declaration of God’s victory. I realized that singing Handel’s Messiah is much like chanting “Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram.” That is sanskrit for “Glory to God, Victory to God, Victory to God” It is sanskrit for “And He shall reign forever and ever, Alleluia! Alleluia!”
And, much like when I chant Jai Ram, as I was singing “And He shall reign forever and ever, Alleluia” over and over again I could feel my heart’s deepest yearning and prayer for God to be victorious in our world, for God’s Love and Peace to reign in our day-to-day world forever and ever, for God’s compassion and justice to be the common place way of everyday business.
In those 15 and 3/4 minutes as I was driving back to work, I felt the place in my heart that deeply knows that God’s Love and God’s Will are one and the same – that all He wants for us is for all of us to live here in harmony and happiness as one human family. As the song says, “the kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ!” Each time I repeated the same phrase, the feeling of God’s victory grew stronger in my chest.
And just as when I chant the Sri Ram Jai Ram, I could feel that yearning and chanting for God to be victorious happening inside of me. They say that changing the world starts with changing yourself, and the same is true for chanting. As I was repeating the phrase “And He shall reign forever and ever” I was praying fervently for Christ to reign inside my own self. I was yearning with all the burning desire of my soul for God to be victorious in me – for God to be victorious in my life, in my thoughts and in my actions, for my heart to be an instrument for God’s victory in the world.
As I parked my car outside of my office building, I rolled the windows up, turned the engine off, wiped the tears from my cheeks, took a deep breath, thanked God for the rogue renunciation of my every day life and went into work with God’s victory ringing inside of me.
So, in this season and all seasons, whether we are singing ‘Alleluia,’ ‘Jai Ram,’ ‘We Shall Overcome’ or ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth and let it start with me,’ we are all singing the one song of Victory to God.
Merry Christmas, Jai Ram, He shall reign forever and ever, Alleluia!