Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 89:15-16 (NRSV)
Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance;
they exult in your name all day long,
and extol your righteousness.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” “God is good—all the time! All the time—God is good.” “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” “Amen.”
Those of us who regularly worship at church camp or with a youth group often join together as a collective body in a “festal shout”—or at least in a festal recital. Things such as singing the “Doxology” as a response to the offering draw us together in mind and body. We become a collective unit by praising the Lord in unison.
I worry about believers who say they do not need to attend church. It is not that I worry about their salvation, but about their spiritual health. The shared joy and purpose, and even the struggles of our combined worship and fellowship, help to produce spiritual stamina. We connect with people as we connect with God.
The rituals of a worship community lead to a deeper sense of how we belong to God’s family. No matter how many generations removed, the children of Israel felt a connection due to their shared path on the journey with the Lord. Today, no matter what Christian denomination a person identifies with, we share a connection. We praise the same God and depend on the same Savior as our eternal hope.
How can we include non-believers in our community and teach them the festal shouts? How do we draw others into the light of God’s countenance?
Help us, Lord, to share the joy of the Lord with all who cross our path, so that they can know true happiness and eternal joy.
Go with God.