When you sit in the pulpit and watch the congregation, there are some interesting sights to behold.
I have seen many bowed heads. The heads are bowed not at the time of prayer, rather they are bowed about twelve minutes into the sermon. They are either praying for the preacher or they are in deep-Sunday-afternoon-holding-the-remote-NFL-nap mode. I say that because I notice men sleeping, not the women! What’s up with that? I choose to believe the men are praying for the preacher, or for the sermon to end.
The other stuff you see are parents struggling with children. I have never been bothered by loud, active, or fussy children. The church is so blessed to have children present; we should enjoy them in whatever mode they are in during a worship service. The next time you hear a fussy or loud child in church, thank God they are present!
A couple of Sunday’s ago I looked up into the balcony at the end of the service. In the balcony was family with their daughter. The girl, by my preacher estimation, was at the stage where walking was a new thing.
She was in the middle aisle of the balcony, just under the Rose Window that Trinity moved from a previous location. It is a large, beautiful Rose window. So above her head is this huge reminder of the dignified history of Trinity Methodist Church.
During the last hymn, the young girl was dancing in the aisle. She was dancing with complete innocent abandonment. She was dancing with joy, and her joy touched my heart. To say it like the cool people, “she was busting a move.” We were singing one of those joyful hymns of the church. The girl had caught the spirit. She was not holding anything back.
Her joy was not going to be quashed by dignity.
Dignity. I don’t know where it came from, but it seems that worship has been taken over by dignity. Many congregations fear undignified behavior in church. It is no wonder, we are aptly criticized as being the “frozen chosen.” What would happen, if in your place of worship, you traded dignity for joy?
Maybe you would feel better, before, after, and during a worship service if you caught the infectious joy that comes with following Jesus.