Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
My daughter Emma is a musical child. Most days she can be heard around the house, singing her way through her day. It can be any song, from Old McDonald to Twinkle Twinkle to even a song she's making up as she goes. Some of her favorite songs are the Bible songs she's learned in school or Sunday School, especially Jesus Loves Me and I Am Jesus' Little Lamb. I love hearing her little voice around the house.
Emma brings this love of music right into our church worship services. She absolutely ADORES the music in church, and has started singing along with the liturgy, mimicking our "And also with you" and "Amen." Even if she doesn't know the words, she's singing along. Many times, as she's singing with gusto, there's been turned heads towards our direction.
But I don't mind that one bit.
I think Emma is bringing a wonderful aspect into worship services. She's there, joyfully sending her songs to the Lord. She doesn't care if she's out of tune or doesn't know the words. She knows that we're there to praise God, and by golly, she's going to praise Him well.
I love seeing this joy in children at church. I often smile when I watch children coming back from communion with their parents, skipping and smiling down the aisle. Yet how many of us have those smiles on our faces? Most of us are very somber in church. (Being somber is the Lutheran way, after all.) But think about it. God wants us to make a JOYFUL noise for him. He wants us to feel that joy in our worship. There is, after all, much to be joyful for!
So the next time Emma is singing away in church and I get the urge to shush her, I'm going to stop myself, and start making a joyful noise right along side her. I hope you, too, can worship the Lord with gladness.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to worship you in church. I have so many praises to send up for you, for all You have done for me. Thank you for my children, Lord, who remind me what it is to worship you with joy. Help me to show that joy in my worship. In your name I pray, Amen.