This past Sunday, we saw in Nehemiah an example of a party...a celebration of praise and thanksgiving to God for what He had done for the Jews who had returned to the Promised Land. And this celebration was absolutely appropriate based on what God had done for them. And since God has done so much for us too, I suggested on Sunday that this is a good model for us; that as we come to God in praise, worship and thanksgiving, that we ought to have an exuberance about us. Our testimony of God's goodness should never be dull and drab; it should be joyous and celebratory!
And yet, it's worth noting something important here: Just as there are many types of apple, different people express joy...well...differently. Different personalities demonstrate emotion and celebration in different ways. Your exuberance probably doesn't look exactly like the exuberance of the person to the left of you or to the right of you. And as far as I'm concerned--and more importantly, I think as far as God is concerned--that's just fine! You needn't be concerned if your expression of joyful worship doesn't look like some stereotypical version of celebration. Nor should you judge whether or not the people around you are adequately exuberant based solely on what you see! Your responsibility is for you! And the question you ought to be asking yourself is not simply "Do I do certain things while I worship?", but "When I worship, am I genuinely celebrating God?"
I don't care what your partying looks like...just make sure you're partying! God is far too good for us to not celebrate Him exuberantly!
- Pastor Paul