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Summary: A short talk for 200+ school children plus staff and parents. Christmas is a great time to sing and say Hallelujah - praise the Lord! Talk includes my rendition of the 2008 X factor Christmas single ’Hallelujah’; alternative words plus guitar chords.

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(Just send me an email through Sermon Central if you would like to see a full copy of my version of the 2008 UK X-Factor Christmas single ’Hallelujah’ plus Guitar chords.)

I was at my daughter’s school for her Christmas performance this morning. It was a combination of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus and a set of Beatles songs such as ‘We can work it out’, ‘All you need is love’, ‘Help’ and ‘Get Back’! Two angels crashed into the Christmas tree sending decorations tumbling. Mary’s donkey kept asking ‘Are we there yet?’ and then at one point the donkey started singing ‘Well I have walked 500 miles, oh I have walked 500 miles!” When the angels came to visit the shepherds, one angel said, “At last. It’s my bit – angel’s delight”, and when the shepherds heard the news – at which point they were meant to head off for Bethlehem - for some reason they said, “No, not tonight, we’re too busy”; but my favourite bit was a group of angels singing a song that included lots of ‘Hallelujahs’. For me, Christmas is a great time to say or to sing the word ‘Hallelujah’ because it’s an ancient Hebrew-Jewish word meaning ‘Praise the Lord’.

A traditional Jewish hymn that we call Psalm 106 begins with these words: ‘Hallelujah. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever’ (Psalm 106:1).

Do we have any X-Factor fans here? I realise lots of you will have enjoyed Britain’s Got Talent especially since Diversity were the winners, but I wonder who you’re hoping will win X-Factor this year. In no particular order hands up for Olly; hands up for Stacey; and hands up for Joe. As for last year, I thought Alexandra Burke’s rendition of the old song ‘Hallelujah’ was excellent; and I wondered if this afternoon we could perhaps perform together our own rendition of that song because Christmas is such a great time of year to be giving thanks to God. What a gift to the world – sending Jesus to be born in a smelly cow shed, narrowly avoiding death as a young child, revealing God’s love; living life alongside us; Emmanuel: God with us; reasons to say, “Hallelujah”.

Let’s sing my version of the song together:

When I saw this tune had easy chords

Could I write a song to please the Lord?

Alexandra made it famous – did you hear her?

Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth

The minor fall and the major lift

It’s a song of praise as we sing Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

I believe there is a God above

And Jesus is His gift of love

A baby born to be King of me and you

God came to Earth as Jesus Christ

He lived and died as a sacrifice

To save us from our sins – hallelujah!

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Hallelujah is a Hebrew word

Meaning ‘Praise to God’ – a joyful word!

I’m singing it now will you sing it with me – will you?

It’s not a word we hear much now

But it’s on our lips again somehow

Christmas calls for singing Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Amen!


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