Psalm 66 vv1-3;  Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise. Say to God “How awesome are your deeds!


During my training we were expected to experience a variety of different churches and styles. But one visit remains indelibly marked in my mind. It will always be there.

It was one of these modern expressions of church held in a school building. There were lots of children. Coffee and newspapers. That sort of thing.

And it was chaos. People moving about doing their own thing. A seemingly random service. Music started. People chatted.

And amongst them all was a child. She cannot have been more than seven.

She changed my life.

During one of the worship songs she marched up and down the aisle. She marched up and down, she waved her hands and she sang. She sang at the top of her voice. She was shouting. She was praising God and she wanted him to hear.

And I sat in the back, trying to hide. Wishing the chairs would swallow me up.

It was beautiful.

It was beautiful and I was ashamed.

I have lots to be thankful to God in my life.  Over the years I have been delivered from all sorts of calamities. And now I suddenly aware that the best I could do was mumble a furtive “Thank you”, hidden amidst the liturgy.

I realised as long as I have breath in my body I will never be able to express the joy and love of God that young girl expressed that morning.

Even now I still struggle with public expressions of joyfulness. I still keep my hands lowered, my eyes averted and my physical contact minimal.

But I saw then and now I know what it is to know and love the Lord; that people who are able to express this have I richness I don’t know.

And I love them for it.