Without Condemnation

Once upon a time there lived a husband and wife who loved to praise the Lord aloud in church. They were frowned upon for this by some of the congregants. Admittedly, ours is a staid Presbyterian church and these folks were from an Evangelical background where praising the Lord out loud was the norm.

I loved it when our choir would conclude an anthem and this couple would “Praise the Lord!” aloud and in unison. It made me smile.

It really bothered me that they were criticized. Psalm 134:2 clearly states: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.

This has been on my mind off and on for several years even though this couple has since passed away.

It makes me smile to picture George and Barbara in Heaven’s congregation heartily praising the Lord without condemnation. Happy Sunday.

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If It`s Good Enough for God…

A Catholic couple were guests in a protestant church once, and asked me what I thought of dancing in the church…this after watching a liturgical dance, of which they disapproved. I knew it was in scripture somewhere, and said so. (Let them praise his name with dancing…) Psalm 149:3.  (NIV) Where else do we praise his name if not in church?

All these years later it brings to mind other things which are sometimes frowned upon in a church…not all churches, but some. For instance some people raise their hands, or exclaim, “Praise the Lord!” when some hymns or anthems move them to emote their joy in the moment. (Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the lord) Psalm 134:2 (NIV)

Applause is another thing which is not welcome in some religious institutions. But you know what…sometimes we can’t help applauding a perfectly performed rendition of The Lord’s Prayer. Sure, we may be applauding the singer but the song or hymn is what stirs us to take such action, because that performer is elevating our level of worship. (Clap your hands, all you nations…) Psalm 47:1 (NIV)

In my book, and it’s the “Good Book”, if it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for me. So, shall we lift up our hands, even clap our hands, bring on the liturgical dancers…enjoy praising the Lord…it`s what he tells us to do. (Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.) James 1:22 (NIV)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Psalm 100:1 (KJV)