Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:1-2
One of my greatest joys is watching kids grow in understanding and participation in church life. Some Sundays though it is very hard to worship with my kids. They both love church - the members, Bible stories, songs, the liturgy - yet the way they express their joy over being there can be easily misinterpreted. There are times when their "joyful noise" sounds more like chaos than worship.
In Psalm 100 it says specifically to "Shout for joy to the LORD". It does not specify that those shouts should only happen while outdoors or come from people under the age of 2! Witnessing the joy of the younger worshipers can be a reminder, and a challenge, for us "older" worshipers.
The Psalm goes on to say "come before him with joyful songs". It does not say that those songs need to be in tune or in time. This verse came to mind last Sunday as my 4 yr. old was chanting the liturgy at his own pace and in his own key. We have a small church so of course everyone noticed. In those moments I strive to remember that the Lord welcomes us all, regardless of our abilities.
Lord, please help me as I parent in the pew. Grant me your wisdom, grace and understanding. Also, please surround our pew with understanding souls who will enjoy the extra joyful noises we tend to make. In Jesus name, Amen.