“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2
A 95-year-old woman decided to go on a date with a 98-year-old man. She lived with her daughter and when she got back from her date her daughter said, “Mother, how was your date?” She said, “Well, I had to slap him three times.” “Did he try something funny with you?” the daughter asked. Her mom replied, “No, I thought he was dead.”
Worship should never be boring. And the way we worship shouldn't make others wonder if we're engaged or "alive" in worship, as this 98-year-old man barely seemed alive. In fact, worship is so important to God that the first four of the Ten Commandments deal exclusively with our worship. No book in the Bible talks more about worship than the Book of Psalms, and no chapter talks more about worship than Psalm 100. Notice the first word used in this worship chapter: Shout. The word “shout” here literally means to give a “sound that splits the ear.”
While the psalmist isn’t saying that we should actually yell or act crazy, he is saying that worship should be full of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. It should be expressive and emotional. In other words, if you are bored, you are not worshiping.
Think about it in this context: How do you behave when you watch your kids, grandkids, or your favorite team play in a sporting event? How much do you care about what is happening in that game? For many of us, we care a lot (possibly too much). We might dress in our team’s colors, tune in or purchase tickets to the game, and cheer loudly throughout. We are ecstatic if our team wins or disappointed if they lose. We get excited. We get expressive. And we get emotional. How much more, then, should we be in that spirit when we worship the God of the universe?
Please don’t misunderstand…I am not saying that your worship has to be outwardly expressive in specific ways to be heartfelt. I am talking more about the condition of your heart. As Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So if your heart is engaged in worship, then that will be reflected in your countenance and your participation. As Psalm 100:1-2 says, your gladness and joy should be evident in your worship. This is what it means to worship gleefully.
Dear God, You are worthy of all of my worship and praise. Please forgive me for the times that I just go through the motions of worship without truly engaging my heart. May my excitement, expression, and emotion about You be greater than anything else in my life. In Your name I pray, amen.