Thursday, February 14, 2008


Have you ever watched other people during worship service? At my old church, we choir members would joke about having the best seat in the house, because we were able to watch the entire congregation during the service. There were the benchwarmers, who looked as if they were just there to fulfill their weekly obligation; the note-takers, who were either very studious or maybe they were making out their grocery list; the sleepers, which included but was not limited to a choir member and a deacon; and the clock-watchers, who appeared to be more focused on the big clock on the back wall than what was happening in the front of the church.

There was one woman though that wasn’t like the rest. “Claire” would raise her hands in worship and sometimes even sway back and forth. Granted, she was pretty tame compared to most Pentecostals, but she was doing this in not only a Baptist church, but the biggest Southern Baptist church in town where quiet, orderly decorum if not followed would result in the elderly sitting on the third row of the piano side giving the offending worshipper a stern frown until they had the sense to slither back to their padded pew. One night at a high school function, I had the opportunity to talk with Claire. She had a genuine love for God and really wanted to let others know in the church that it was ok to express your feelings in worship. She wanted people to quit looking on the outward appearance of what was going on in the church and become intimate with the Savior. She said that she really wished more people shout, “Hallelujah!” (In most Baptist churches the only time Hallelujah is heard is when it is sung in Handel’s Messiah)

In my studies of words for praise in the Bible, I found Halal is the primary root in Hebrew for the universal praise word, Hallelujah. It means to shine, celebrate and rejoice in the Lord with a distinct sound. When was the last time you celebrated Jesus with a “Hallelujah”?

1 comment:

  1. Good post Lori! I remember "Claire" myself! Today you may find a few more worshipers and even one or two Hallelujah....but still tame compared to most!