By Debora Coty
A while back I spoke at a multi-ethnic Christian women’s event where several languages (besides English) were spoken.
Because multiple interpreters were often speaking at once, it was occasionally chaotic, sometimes cacophonous, always interesting, and never more fun.
Forbearance was abundant. Everyone wore their patience and kindness like a beautiful faith necklace (“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder” Proverbs 3:3, NLT).
And one thing stood out to me as we expressed our own Jesus-joy in worship. We were all praising Papa God in different languages, sometimes singing words we didn’t understand, or listening to the Bible read in a foreign tongue.
Yet we had one thing in common. It was a word that we all began to say in unison while smiling from ear-to-ear when it became apparent that regardless of our nationality, each of us shared this one common bond of worship: Hallelujah.
Go figure. Hallelujah is the same in every language.
By definition, hallelujah is the term used to express praise, joy, and gratitude. And by dingies, we expressed all those things, all wrapped tightly up in one says-it-all word. Hallelujah.
Until that day, I believe I’ve always taken hallelujah for granted. It was just another faith-speak term like “Thank Heavens” or “Praise the Lord” or “Have Mercy!” But no longer. That word is special to me now, because I know that whenever I say it, thousands of my soul sisters and brothers across the globe are saying it too, and our hearts are bound together in one timeless, bottomless, boundary-less expression of praise to our Papa God.