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July 14, 2010

Chapter-a-Day 1 Chronicles 15

What is appropriate worship. When the Chest of the Covenant of God entered the City of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, was watching from a window. When she saw King David dancing ecstatically she was filled with contempt. 1 Chronicles 15:29 (MSG)

As I read this verse in today's chapter I was taken back in my memory to a congreational meeting I experienced many years ago. It was a hot summer evening, and it was heated in the air conditioned meeting as well. The source of contention: whether it's appropriate to clap in church. The divide was, in general, along generational lines. The anti-clappers were entrenched in their insistence that the worship service be reverant, holy and quiet. The pro-clappers had various verses about praising God with clapping picked out to prove their point.

Worship can be a funny deal for people. How we express our praise and worship can be a very personal thing. I have been through several of these heated congregational meetings in different churches in which people were debating whether it was appropriate to clap. I've had to endure similar debates on raising hands in worship. The crux of the issue in these silly debates tends to always boil down to what individuals feel is appropriate, which I usually interpret to mean what makes them feel comfortable and should therefore apply to everyone around them so that they don't feel uncomfortable in worship.

Worship is a personal thing, and I've always tried to personally be true to two things when I'm in worship. First, I try to worship in a way that is true to God's message and what God has prescribed. Second, I try not to worry about anyone else. I'm responsible for how I am expressing praisse, thanks, honor, and confession. If I'm busy worrying about what other people are doing, then I'm not really focused on the reason I'm there in the first place.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and wohlford

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