What Is A Trichoplax?

A Trichoplax is one of the simplest organisms you can find. It has no discernible organs or structure, and is basically a flat blob of tissue that moves around. Is it alive? I don't know. But I thought I'd ruminate on other conundrums in this space.

I Agree

The Hallelujah Epiphany

For the Easter service at our church the choir sang the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah. It was, of course, majestic, but I was unexpectedly quite moved by the song.

While they were singing it, I was thinking about a story my friend Jason had referenced last week in a blog post. It's the story of a South American Indian who was hearing Handel's Messiah for the first time. Upon hearing the Hallelujah chorus she began to cry, and later explained that she'd heard the chorus before. She was, in fact, one of the famous Auca Indians, the tribe that had killed Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries in 1956. (If you're not familiar with the story, read a short synopsis here.) She recounted that, as the missionaries were being speared to death on the Curaray river, she saw men in white on the opposite side. They were singing the Hallelujah chorus.

While the story is pretty neat, I didn't really think much of it. I cynically thought that it was a little cliche, the idea of angels singing the Hallelujah chorus. It wasn't until I heard the words of the chorus Sunday morning that I realized something that really shook me to my core:

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever.

Those angels weren't singing about Jim Elliot or Nate Saint. They weren't singing about the Auca Indians. They sang only about God. And I realized that was kind of the point. When those missionaries were getting murdered it looked like defeat. But those angels were proclaiming that God really was the ruler of this world, and that he would reign forever, even as His subjects were being humiliated by the forces of evil. We know, of course, that those Indians eventually became Christians by God's grace. In the end, God won.

That, I realized, was why angels would sing that song. Handel ripped those lyrics straight from Revelations and the point of that book is simply that no matter how things appear, in the end God wins.