Monday, June 20, 2011

Ear-splitting Rejoicing in Church...is it appropriate?


I have listened to and commented on the numerous, and sometimes heated, discussions about a local church that removed a 12 year old boy with cerebral palsy from a Resurrection Sunday service because he gave an "amen" at an inopportune time. Bottom line...I wasn't there. However, if it happened like the article says it happened....how dare they remove someone (especially a handicapped person) from a service because of their vocal worship of their Lord!

During the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus' followers and disciples made many loud and apparently obnoxious "amens". The Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke His followers. But how did Jesus answer? "I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!" If His followers had not rightly and properly celebrated aloud the Messiah's coming, the very rocks would have been given a voice by God.

The Hebrew transliteration of the term used to describe how the rocks would have cried out is: (krad'-zo); to "croak" (as a raven) or scream, i.e. to call aloud (shriek, exclaim, intreat). So, had the followers not given Jesus the CORRECT welcome He so deserved, the rocks would have shrieked, calling aloud in praise!

And when we look at how this very instance of crying out was predicted back in Zechariah we see this..."Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." [Zechariah 9:9] The transliteration for the word "shout" in the above passage actually means "to split the ears with sound", while "rejoice" literally meant "to spin around under the influence of great emotion".

Since Jesus and His Word show us that those who were present at his entry into Jerusalem were supposed to give him that kind of loud, "ear-splitting" exclamations upon His arrival, how should we then imitate in the same way when worshiping Him on a Resurrection Sunday (or any given Sunday), when we recall His gift to us through salvation? I just don't see why anyone could condemn this type of action, when it is so well grounded in Scripture!

Can we display true reverence (deep respect tinged with awe) while also being vocal with our praise and adoration? Apparently we can, because Jesus thought it was not only permissible, but also required.


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2 comments:

Candice said...

AMEN!! Wonderful post!

Jolene said...

We recently had this issue come up. Our daughter (21 months, who stays in service with us) had strep throat and we didn't know it and screamed in pain...we removed her quickly and did not return to church for several weeks to allow for complete healing, however, apparently there was a complaint about her and we were rebuked by our Pastor. We never said anything about it and yet the news spread and we had many members of our church come forward to tell us they are sorry to hear of the complaint and they were very supportive of us.