When I first became a Christian, and in response to worshiping God one day in church, I began to clap my hands. I got a tap on the shoulder by a lovely older lady who promptly told me “We don’t clap our hands here!”. Hey, I was worshiping my Father and I was so joyful I wanted to clap.
Clapping is a human expression we spontaneously respond with when we can’t find any other way to express our feelings of joy or relief. If you don’t believe me, just recall when the trapped miners came to the surface at Beaconsfield, the anxious awaiting crowd burst into applause. When a person is rescued, the crowd applaudes. When men walked on the moon, we applauded. When a fire is extinguised, we applaude the firemen. I was rescued from going to hell and I had found I had a Heavenly Father…I wanted to applaude.
I promptly asked the little old lady if there was anywhere in the Bible that said I couldn’t clap. I did recall for her that King David’s response in worshiping God was to strip down to his underwear and dance publicly…would she prefer I did that?
Clapping became the norm for that church.
Ever noticed that no matter how much God does around some people they just have to find something to nit-pick about! Why is that? Don’t they have anything else better to do? I think it lies in what we become comfortable with.
Take Jesus for example. He heals an invalid of 38 years on the Sabbath and the Jewish leaders complain the healed man was now working on the Sabbath.
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” John 5:5-10
The guy wasn’t even able to drag himself into a pool moments before and now he can walk and carry his mat. But no… the leaders have to pick on the fact that it was a Sabbath. They were more comfortable with their laws than to deal with the miracle.
It’s easy to pick on the old lady and the jewish leaders. But we all fall into this trap unless we are consciously determined not to.
For me, I know that as church continues to stay contemporary, the music seems a little faster than is comfortable for me now days. I could easily complain that the music isn’t what I like…that maybe so, but what I do love is that people are worshiping God. And each generation has its way of singing and praising and worshiping God… when I started to worship they didn’t even clap! Who am I to stand in the way of contemporary relevance? I say, relax, go with the flow. Let God do what He wants, and let’s just keep up with Him.
So, what rattles your cage and takes you out of your comfort zone? Is God doing something different and wants you to see it?