One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Hogan’s Heroes (a comedic sitcom set in a German Prisoner of War camp during World War II). During one of the episodes from this show’s second season there is a scene in which Colonel Hogan (the senior ranking POW officer) tells Corporal Newkirk that he just had a great idea. After Hogan walks away, Newkirk asks Corporal LeBeau, “What was that great idea I just had?” LeBeau responds, “I don’t know; what did you say?” To which Newkirk admits, “I don’t know; I wasn’t listening.”
Does this ever happen to you? Are there ever times in your life that if someone were to ask you, “What did you just say?” you would have to admit that you didn’t know?
I think that probably happens quite often, more than we may realize. Why do I say that? Because there are certain words that we use without always remembering or understanding what they mean. One example might be the word “Alleluia.” We use that word quite often (especially at this time of the year), but do we understand what it means? If someone were to ask you, “What did you just say?” would you have an answer for them, or would you have to admit, like Corporal Newkirk, “I don’t know; I wasn’t listening”?
If you would like to know what you’re saying or singing each time you use the word “Alleluia,” here’s your answer: the word “Alleluia” (also “Hallelujah”) comes from the Hebrew language and means “Praise the Lord!”
Why do we sing “Alleluia” so much at this time of the year? As we remember what God has done for us, what else can we do but “Praise the Lord!”? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus also said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).
Jesus died and rose again. He won the forgiveness for all our sins. He has prepared a home in heaven for us. So let us sing, “Alleluia, Praise the Lord!”
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