There’s been a rash of worship going on at our church lately, and I for one am loving it. It inspires me. One man occasionally makes a lap around the pews as we sing; he just can’t stand still in his love for God. Another woman sways with raised hands, sometimes kneeling in place, lost in exultant praise. There’s an occasional “Woo!” here and there in the congregation and shouts of “Yes!” or “Go God!”

Not long ago I caught a smirk on his face as a man turned away from one such worshiper. I could easily picture him at a football game with his buddies, whooping and hollering for their team. Why is it that it’s perfectly normal in our society for someone to paint their body blue, wear outrageous outfits, or wave a giant finger to show team spirit, yet be embarrassed by the moving of the Spirit of the Lord?

I thought about King David’s wife Michal. She despised him for joining with the commoners in praising God as they brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city. But his response was, “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes” (2 Samuel 6:22). He didn’t care what anybody thought of him, his worship was for God alone.

I know I’ve been guilty of letting the world dictate to me what is and is not “politically correct” to get excited about. But why be self-conscious in my exuberance for what I know in my heart to be true and eternal? And why would I ever get embarrassed in front of other believers? Yet I have.

Years ago, my husband came home at a time I wasn’t expecting him. Praise music swelled through the house. In the middle of my cleaning spree I’d gotten so blessed that I simply lay on the floor with arms open wide to revel in the moment. That’s where my husband found me, with joyful tears streaming down my face. And it embarrassed me. The spell was broken and I quickly got up, wiped the tears from my eyes, and mumbled about getting carried away with an apologetic smile.

Another time in church I was lost in reverie – eyes closed, hands raised, when my daughter tugged at my sleeve. “What are you doing, Mommy? Why are you raising your hands?” I whispered that I was praising God and rather than introduce her to this joyous rapture, I let it squelch my praise.

photo by Selaphotography
By myself I’m uninhibited – shouting, dancing, singing, kneeling, occasionally on my face before God. Over the years I’ve become more open at expressing praise at church too, and braver about mentioning God in public. Especially this week as we approach our biggest Christian holiday.

I don’t want the world to water down this holiday with baby chicks, lambs, bunnies, spring flowers and new clothes. As much as I love all that. Jesus is the reason for the glory of this season. The empty tomb is why we celebrate new life. And our worship of Christ is not embarrassing, but a natural outflow of gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice. Death has been conquered – Halleluia!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes… I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death…So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me…If anyone is ashamedof [Jesus] and [His] words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Romans 1:16; Philippians 1:20; 2 Timothy 1:8; Mark 8:38).