Ruminations from the back pew: happy clappin’


I’m not what you’d call an effusive worshipper. I’m not a hand raiser or a head throw back-er. I don’t tear up or mimic actions described in songs. If I’m clutching my heart meaningfully, I’m probably having a heart attack; please alert someone.

The farthest I go is sort of undulating on the spot. Not rocking or swaying, really, just…undulating. What I’ll do is I’ll scan the pews ahead of me, identify someone with an excellent sense of rhythm (we’re so lucky we have an ethnically diverse congregation) and copy theirs because God gave me none of my own. This is biblical. I believe it’s called the body of Christ and as we all know, one hand washes the other.

Last week at Bible study someone was talking about how they wish our worship sessions were more open to such Spirit-led displays. More?! I thought, rather cynically, left eye ticking. I was raised in the Dutch Reformed Church. Generally speaking, just twitching along to the beat of the music was considered daring, even (God forbid) progressive. Instantly dark thoughts of pentacostalism loomed.

I’m split two ways about overt displays of praise. My initial reaction is suspicion. Because I’m not very emotive myself, I immediately distrust this in other people. But then I sort of goggle admiringly for the exact same reason. And, frankly, people with a voice as thin as mine are forever indebted to the bubbly singers throwing their arms in the air like they just don’t care and cancelling out our sound waves.

This gives us enough space to undulate, spiritually :).


5 thoughts on “Ruminations from the back pew: happy clappin’

  1. Reminds me of my Lutheran upbringing. I too was extremely suspicious of overt praise…people still are at my church. But thank God for freeing His people to praise Him. After all, as the Lord said, if we don’t praise Him, the rocks will. (p.s. good message and well said!) :)

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Posts for 2013 | your mess, His Message

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