Sunday, August 31, 2014


HUSH!!! (Can you really write that in bold capital letters with three exclamation points?) That was a word often spoken to me as a young boy fidgeting on a hard wooden pew at the First Methodist Church in Garden Grove, California. Actually, there was only one Methodist church, so their name should have been: Only Methodist Church. Anyway, growing up in that stained-glass, bell-towered, wooden-floored church, complete with robed choir and pipe organ was quite awe-inspiring for a little guy, how could I not fidget?

When you walked into the foyer of the old church there was a sign that greeted the worshippers as they entered the sanctuary taken from Habakkuk 2:20, “The LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silent before Him.” My mom took that sign seriously. This was God’s House and deserving of the highest respect, which included sitting still and silent. Unless, of course it was time to sing a hymn, then I would stand, barely able to see over the pew back in front of me and sing songs with words like “Ebenezer” and “Royal Diadem.”  Thank goodness my mom kept a purse full of hard candy for me to suck on to keep me occupied. No “What’s in the Box?” or Children’s Church in those days

How different our church is today. We almost have to blow a whistle to get everybody settled down and ready to worship. Yet, personally, as much as I love the hymnody of my childhood, I appreciate that the church has taken to heart the words of the psalmists regarding coming before the LORD with clapping hands, clashing cymbals and loud peals of praise from the people of God.

God is deserving of our reverent praise. There are important times for us to sit quietly before him, stepping out of the noise and rush of our daily lives, but I also enjoy the opportunity to hear the voices of young and old praising the Lord Most High.

He is worthy of our full praise. So, let the hands clap, let the cymbals clash, let the children of God rejoice. Let us all remember it is the LORD we address with all reverence and awe . . . and that may mean HUSH, the LORD is in His holy temple.

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