Randy Gill has a wealth of educational and professional background as a musician. He has degrees from four institutions, including a doctorate in choral and church music from the University of Southern California. He’s been a professor for most of his professional life, and now is a worship leader in Nashville, Tennessee. Perhaps it’s the interaction with young students that helped him create “Shout Hallelujah”, a celebration not unlike the youthful exuberance that college kids can radiate. Gill has creativity not limited to this one song. He’s collaborated on several musicals, and has several arrangements to his credit on Word albums. So, he has the wherewithal to be complex, erudite with his craft. Yet, his song carries an uncomplicated message. Rejoice! …that’s it. I don’t need to learn anything new…just access what’s deep inside, and engage my vocal cords. Appreciate God. Revel in the moment. It’s the same type of moment when Jesus told worshippers not to hold back. Indeed, Randy echoes Jesus when he says, “’Shout Hallelujah’ was an attempt to help us worship more freely and with joyful abandon.” True, some observers will no doubt scoff or be alarmed. The unrestrained, unashamed spectacle you create might disquiet someone close, like Michal when David and his army returned with the Ark. But, as someone else has written, don’t let those stones worship for you!
What’s your most memorable “Shout Hallelujah” moment this side of heaven? I can remember mine. I’ve had the privilege of sharing it with others, even many others through a theatrical production. Twenty-one years ago, I felt desperate for a job and a life that I had dreamed was only remotely possible. I prayed for months, sometimes in anguish. ‘Help me, God’! I still remember the moment I discovered He heard me, and that He was saying ‘yes’. My mom shook she was so overjoyed. I floated on a cloud, as I went about the farm’s evening chores that day in November 1987. And, sometimes when I have felt frustrated about life, and even the job to which God led me, I have accessed that November 1987 moment. I don’t rely on my memory…I have some of the moments, on paper, stuffed in a briefcase! The official letter of the job offer is there, locked inside the dusty burgundy leather attaché. But, the most important part is deep within me. I hope I never forget how much God meant to me that day. I bet Randy Gill’s had moments like that too. A Christian should, and I’m glad he’s recorded words and music that let me show God my feelings, in a simple but potent way. If you can drop your reserve for a few moments, think about how the Holy One has rallied around you, lifted and strengthened you. Share that with others, and celebrate it anew, with a shout! Yahoo (this 21st Century Christian’s Hallelujah)!
Information on Randy Gill in the story was gathered from the following sites, and from an e:mail he sent the author on 30 December 2008: http://www.sbmp.com/WebPagesTwo/RandallGillBio.html http://woodmont.alsw.com/page.asp?SID=1&Page=172