Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a podcast on the church page at Cove Presbyterian Podbean page.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
The One Indispensable Aspect of Worship
People can worship God in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different places. I mean, thousands of people can gather together in cathedrals or auditoriums, and they can participate in rituals that Christians have followed for centuries or they can sing songs, played on instruments by people on a stage that sound and look like something from a theater rather than a traditional church. Now that has certainly become of part of what we consider worship. But so has the idea of a group of people, maybe sitting on pews in a small chapel or on sofas in an even smaller living room, focusing their attention on the one who led them to that place, at that time. You see, those folks may also be worshiping.
But regardless of the format, regardless of the location and regardless of the participants, I think this psalm reminds us of one indispensable aspect of worship, something that can get lost in all the words but which may be absolutely necessary for genuine worship to occur, and I’m talking about joy. You see, without joy felt and expressed, I believe it may be impossible to praise God and to thank him for what he’s done and will continue to do. As a matter of fact, true confession and repentance can only be made by people who know that, through Jesus, their sins are forgiven and that nothing can separate them from God’s love as turn from their past and move into their future. You see, without joy, I’m not sure the other stuff matters; therefore, the next time we worship our Lord, let’s decide to make the noise joyful.