I’ve been to a lot of churches during my life. Some have been quiet, some have been loud, some have included flags waving through the air, and others have included people running laps around the building when they got excited. I think I can safely say that I have seen a wide variety of activities within churches and, oddly enough, I have learned to be comfortable in a lot of different church settings. But one thing I have trouble understanding is why some churches try to control the activities within the church to the point where no one is able to freely express their worship and thankfulness to God.

Some people think flagging is weird, others think laughter in the altar should never happen, and some don’t like it if you shout when you get excited. And yet, if I go to a football game, I’m sure all of these same people will be quick to scream their approval for their teams, proudly wave the teams logo through the air on flags and towels, jump out of their seats when a great play is made, then shout and celebrate throughout the game. Why are we so comfortable celebrating at a sporting event and so uncomfortable celebrating God? Shouldn’t the God who has welcomed us into an amazing relationship receive at least the same level of excitement we show for a group of people running up and down a field?

Don’t get mad at me, I get it, I know that some people prefer quiet reverence to excited worship. And I think there is a time to sit quietly before the Lord to reflect on what he has done for us and to listen to what he has to say. But there should also be a time for celebration; God actually established feasts and festivals for the Jews as times to celebrate, David commissioned 24-hour worship after the ark of the covenant returned to Jerusalem, and the elders around God’s throne are in a constant state of overt worship and praise. Maybe we could take those examples and apply them to our own lives because we seem to lose track of something when we trade in celebration for quiet reflection. God has done amazing and great things, let’s celebrate it!

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