Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rowdy in Church

Do you remember as a little girl on Easter putting on your Easter hat, buckling your patent leather white shoes with lacy socks, and pulling on your white gloves?  Then as a family, we walked into church to sit politely on the wooden pews.  Well, girls, take your gloves off and start clapping. 

"Clap your hands, all peoples;
Shout to God with the voice of joy
(a ringing cry).
(verse 1)

This is not kitties church...
I don't know about you, but our little church is filled with a van load of men from the mission and we have a wee bit of a rowdy church going on.  Why?  Because these fellas know what it is to be redeemed out of the pit.  They feel free in their spirit to clap their hands.  Why, my goodness, they are even known to shout with joy as we are singing. There's no demure worship going on.  The gloves are off. 

If you look at Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, it says

"...the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully
with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'
(This last little bit sounds like what the angels cried out at His birth.)
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher rebuke Your disciples.'
But Jesus answered, 'I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!'"
(Luke 19:37-40)

How noisy was your church service yesterday?  Do the rocks need to cry out? 
"God has ascended with a shout."
(Psalm 47:5)

This could be referring to bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, but most agree it is also prophetic of Jesus' ascension back into heaven.

"And it came about that while He was blessing them,
He parted from them.
(was carried up into heaven).
And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy
and were continually in the temple
praising God."
(Luke 24:51-53)

When David danced before the Ark, it was so wild as he ascended up the hill to Jerusalem, that his wife despised him for it.  He was just rejoicing before the Lord.  Now in Luke in this ascension of our Lord brought such joy that his disciples went unafraid before certain persecution to praise God in the temple continually.  That can't even begin to compare to the joy in heaven when our Lord ascended up onto the other shore.  What a thunderous shout that must have been!

Sometimes in the past years of our ministry, my husband picked his trumpet back up and played in church, just as verse 5 says, "God has ascended with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet."  But even if we can't play an instrument, like me, we can "Sing praises to God, sing praises to our King, sing praises." (verse 6)  Aren't you glad there's no tryouts for the choir of the redeemed?  It doesn't matter how well you sing, but just that you sing praises.



 "For God is the King of all the earth:
sing ye praises with understanding."
(KJV verse 7)

"Let sense and sound go together. 
Let your hearts and heads go with you voices. 
Understand what you sing; and feel what you understand:
and let the song be what will give instruction in righteousness to them that hear. 
Sing wisely."
(Adam Clarke)
After all, this is the song writer writing this psalm.  He is all about singing.  All through the centuries, we have at least sung these psalms in our hearts even if the melodies have been lost to us. 

Aren't you glad this psalm began, "O clap your hands, ALL ye people." (verse 1)  That has come to mean, Jews and Gentiles together.  "God is the king of all the earth." (verse 7) 

"God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness."
(KJV verse 8)
"He is a holy God...He requires holiness; and His genuine people are all holy.
The throne of His holiness is the heaven of heavens; also the temple at Jerusalem;
and, lastly, the hearts of the faithful."
(Adam Clarke)

Clap, shout, and sing with holy hearts.

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