We had a discussion at our Ministry Leadership Council meeting tonight about the phrase "to worship God joyfully."
What does that mean?
I think we limit the definition of joyful. I think we walk around believe that joyful means happy -- that it means loud and fast. I think we labor under the presumption that joyful worship is always happy, louder than we want it to be, and non-traditional.
For me, joyful connotes rejoicing. It means celebratory. Why would our worship ever be other than rejoicing?
I think, even when the tone is quiet, even when it is contemplative, even when worship is solitary, it must be joyful. To me, to be joyful is to stand in the presence of God, and to know his will.
A funeral is very rarely happy, but I think that they can be joyful.
Communion is usually quiet, but the best communion services are joyful.
Time spent in God's presence cannot help but be joyful. If our worship is not joyful, then we need to move closer to God. In his presence, we will feel joy.
Image: The sky across the street the other night.