Though Christians can’t attend church on Easter morning due to the coronavirus pandemic, they can worship God publicly and collectively from the safety of their own front porch.
At noon on Easter, Christians of all denominations are being urged to gather everyone in their household, step outside, and “Raise a Hallelujah” — shout praises to God, ring bells, and celebrate for 60 seconds.
Then, you can post a picture or video of your celebration on social media with the hashtag #RaiseAHallelujah, or in Spanish #levantaunaleluya, so others are encouraged.
The idea for this initiative began with a pastor in the Chicago suburbs — Trevor McMaken of City of Light Anglican Church in Aurora, Illinois. In an email to local pastors and Christian leaders, McMaken wrote, “This Easter we remember the hope of Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As churches across our city are unable to gather in person, let’s raise a hallelujah on our front porches to bring the hope of Jesus to our neighborhoods.”
Several local pastors responded to McMaken’s invitation. And the bishop overseeing the diocese in which McMaken serves spread the word to leaders within the diocese.
Now, there’s a website (raiseahallelujah.org) for the initiative so Christians everywhere can participate in Raise a Hallelujah. The website was created by a Christian web designer, who donated his time for this project. And at the website you’ll find a countdown to noon that automatically adjusts to the time zone you’re in. The webpage also has shareable social media images, a social media feed, and a downloadable flyer you can give to neighbors.
Raise a Hallelujah Offers Important Message of Hope
Also, as you may know, Raise a Hallelujah, is the title of a popular worship song. What you may not know, however, is that Raise a Hallelujah was written in a moment of crisis when the future appeared bleak.
The song was written a couple years ago when an E.Coli infection had brought a two-year-old boy, Jaxon Taylor, to the brink of death. As his family watched little Jaxon rapidly decline, they pleaded with God to save their son.
Jaxon’s father, Joel Taylor, who’s the CEO of Bethel Music, told worship leaders in his network about Jaxon’s plight. Two of them, Jonathan David and Melissa Hesler, responded by writing Raise a Hallelujah.
Yet Jonathan David Hesler said his first response to the crisis was not faith, but doubt.
“I just felt like this giant of unbelief stood in front of me and I just thought, ‘Jaxon’s gonna die tonight,” Hesler said. “We’re not going to see the miracle.”
Then God began to move in Hesler’s heart.
“As this giant stood in front of me,” Helser said, “all of a sudden, out of my gut this song started coming out. I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies . . . My weapon is a melody . . . Heaven comes to fight for me.”
Hesler and his wife recorded the song and sent it to Joel Taylor, who played the song repeatedly in his son’s presence. Slowly, little Jaxon began to get better and eventually was able to leave the hospital alive and well.
I can’t help but think that this song, and the truth it communicates, is exactly what we need to hear right now.
While staring at death and a pandemic, we need to “sing in the middle of the storm” and remember the reality Easter proclaims: “Death is defeated, the King is alive!”
I hope this weekend, you will listen to this song and meditate on its powerful words. Then join me and scores of other believers on Easter at noon and raise a collective hallelujah to our risen Lord.
Video of Raise a Hallelujah