My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued. Psalm 71:23
Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20
There will be many many people this weekend here in Texas shouting for joy when their local high school football team takes the field, makes a touchdown, or wins a game. Parents, grandparents, friends, and fellow students will stand and yell. Unashamed. Unbridled. Outloud. Some will join the cheerleaders cheers. Some will even sing the fight song. It never ceases to amaze me how caught up we can get in the outcome of a football game – or any sporting event for that matter.
When it comes to God, however, most of us are a bit more reserved. We don’t get too carried away. The story goes that a man visited a Lutheran church. Being from another denomination, at one point in the service he shouted out, “Praise the Lord!” A nearby worshiper said, “We don’t do that in the Lutheran Church.” A quick reply from two pews back, “Oh yes we do! It’s on page 158.”
Orchestrated, rubric-inspired, or spontaneous it is good and right to shout for joy, rejoice before God. Sing (not sin!) boldly, and celebrate in open and whole-body form. Whether it is a matter of “lifting up holy hands (1 Timothy 2:8), clapping your hands (Psalm 47:1, and many others), singing (as indicated above), or kneeling in humble adoration, our all-in worship of God can never fully reflect the glory of his gifts to us, or the extravagance of his loving grace shown to us in Jesus Christ.