An Ecclesiastical Flash Mob?

An Ecclesiastical Flash Mob?

April 25, 2013
Written by Daniel Hazard

Revelation 11:15

"Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever."

Tony Robinson

Perhaps you've seen the videos of flash mobs breaking into the Hallelujah Chorus in stores or food courts, singing in the words from Revelation, "He will reign forever and ever"?

I love these videos. In fact, they can bring me to tears. I wonder why they are so powerful?

Partly it is the way the flash mob and its song of joy and faith intrude upon the normal and so often graceless daily round. People who look bored and distracted as they munch burgers in the food court. Shoppers frantically circling stuff at Macy's. The flash mobs break in, reminding us of another dimension that is all around us, but one to which we so often seem blind.

I also like the courage and the company. One person, then two or three, start in singing or playing. What courage. Gradually the entire chorus or orchestra assembles, a community of joy being born before our very eyes, people so caught up in something greater than themselves.

And I like the way these videos show us what "witness" looks like. The singers and players witness to another reality, another possibility, a truth and beauty that cannot be suppressed. They put it before us, before the world, and let people make of it what they will.

Could you and I witness like that? With joy and hope, sharing faith and its song, in the midst of a world dying for magic, hungry for mystery and thirsting for God? I think the church could learn a lot from these flash mobs. Maybe we could become a flash mob ourselves?

Here are two of my own favorites. This one is an orchestra playing the Ode to Joy in Spain (in front of a bank no less). And this is a Christmas flash mob doing the Hallelujah Chorus in a mall food court. Enjoy!


Help us, Holy One, find our way out of our building to sing your song in public. Help us to be so seized by joy and faith that we might be instruments of your grace. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at by clicking on Weekly Reading.

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