Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Psalm 100 (NRSV)
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100 gives us a vision of how worship might look when it most pleases God! We are God’s people. Hello? What better reason could there be to make a joyful noise, be glad, and sing when we are in God’s presence?
We have a faithful God who loves us. In this time of Thanksgiving, we are reminded that we are a grateful people because God is love.
Every Sunday in my church, we offer three unique worship services. Different styles of music appeal to people. Likewise, liturgical and preaching styles hit people differently. We just began a new “contemporary” worship service last year. The music is fantastic! And we enjoy singing. I would even say that we make a joyful noise. But our people are reluctant to raise their hands. It simply has not been our tradition. One Sunday a visitor asked to talk to me after the contemporary worship service. I thought that he must have a deep theological question. He asked, “Is it okay for us to raise our hands when we sing?” Yes, of course it is! I know that God sees your joyful heart and welcomes your arms reaching up to God. The rest of us will get there in time.
God, we praise you. We thank you. We sing to you. We lift our hands to you. You know our hearts. No matter how we show our love for you, help us to be so in awe of you as we enter your presence that our worship is a genuine representation of that awe. Amen.
Go with God.