May 31, 2013
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
“Dianne, play the clapping music!”
Our youngest two grandchildren and I were together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Soon-to-be-three Ellie is strapped into her pink car seat. Little brother Dylan is exploring life in his car seat behind my driver’s seat. Ellie’s newest mantra shortly after getting into the car: “Play the clapping music!”
For those of you unsure what “clapping music” is, it is Vacation Bible School music. This fun, upbeat music often has clapping or other silly motions we do while in the car. Immediately I plug in the clapping music. Soon, the vehicle is filled with the familiar tune that has a strong bass beat, to which we clap. Ellie gets a big smile on her face and I am impressed how she can often actually find the beat with her hands. Half way through the song, she is instructing Dylan to clap along. Stopped at a stop light, I glance behind my seat. His chubby little paws are trying to follow Ellie’s example.
When the song is over, I hear, “Again!” And we listen to the song again. Then, we skip over to a trendy rendition of “This Little Light of Mine.” Now our claps have become little candles: the pointer of one hand is the candle and the hovering other hand is the flame. Ellie belts out, “Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!”
When I hear Ellie sing off tune and watch Dylan’s little hands try to find the beat, my heart swells. I know she is just three; before the age when real life too often jades us. I so want to capture her enthusiasm for clapping music and letting a light shine as the highlight of a car ride. How can I nurture this enthusiasm and excitement for singing God’s praises for years to come?
Too often I lack this pure excitement and joy to simply worship God. Because worship is part of my job, I can easily turn it into creating flow, making sure it is meaningful for others and putting my need and desire to simply worship as something barely on the radar screen.
Have you lost some enthusiasm to worship God? How do you connect with God and sing praises to your Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer? What music would cause you to clap for Jesus and sing on or off key? Even in the car, we had two or three gathered in Jesus’ name. And there was no doubt, He was present with us.
Speak to us of the joy it brings you when we worship you, Almighty God. Thank you for not requiring us to be expert singers, skilled musicians or perfect clappers. Whether we worship with a large faith community or just a couple other people, may we see and feel your presence in those worship-filled moments.