A broken hallelujah – a sweet sound

By Dave Henning / September 8, 2022

“A broken hallelujah is still a hallelujah.  In the ears of God, it is a sweet sound.  Through Jesus, . . God . . . welcomes sinners and eats with them, even as he tends gently to their weary cries for mercy.  And as he welcomes them, he also empowers them to participate in his work.”- Scott Sauls (emphasis author’s)

“But he vices more grace.  Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ “- James 4:6 (ESV)

Scott Sauls concludes Prologue 7 of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen as he stresses that God works with hypocrites.  Otherwise, He’d only work with Jesus.  Thus, because most Christians display this trait, the question involves whether we’re self-aware and humble in our hypocrisy.  And rightly saddened by it.

Certainly, Pastor Sauls asserts, Jesus receives some people into heaven who weren’t visibly virtuous, holy, and good in this life.  Hence, as recovering alcoholic priest Brennan Manning pointed out in The Ragamuffin Gospel (2008):

“Among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and the Lamb, dressed in white robes. . . .  There we are — the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.”

In conclusion, Pastor Sauls proclaims his love for banana bread.  Most significantly, Scott sees the tasty snack or desert as a metaphor for how God works with questionable ingredients.  Because, as bakers know, a rotten banana serves as the key ingredient in the recipe.

Therefore, a baker mixes and warms all that’s brown, mushy, and slimy with sweeter, more savory ingredients like sugar and butter.  And the final product?  A melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece.  Finally, Pastor Sauls encourages:

“God creates a similar kind of goodness from the ingredient of sinners who have become self-aware, humble, and contrite regarding their rotten realities. . . .  As Pastor Rick Warren has said, ‘In God’s garden of grace, even broken trees bear fruit.’ ”

Today’s question: When do you sing a broken hallelujah to God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Church basement honesty”

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Dave Henning

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