Amen! Amen!

Sunday, August 19, 2001

Nehemiah 8:5-6 – Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, Amen! Amen! (NIV)

How should we be led to worship God? In today's passage from the book of Nehemiah, we are told of the thirsting of the people for the word of God. In our churches today, do we have that same thirsting for the word? I wonder. Do we, as believers, come to hear the preacher, as opposed to hearing the preaching of the Word? With this thought in mind, I address something that has taken place in some of our churches of late.

One instance arises after the conclusion of the choral singing of the Junior Choir. They have sung praise to the Lord. The general consensus of late in the congregation has been to clap, showing our approval.

Known sometimes to be the frozen chosen, Presbyterians used to sit and do nothing! It only seems right to clap, but is it?

When we clap with our hands, we tend to say, "Aren't they cute! Wasn't that good of them?" They are cute and they were good, but who are we to honour?

Do you see what I am saying? These children of ours will grow up thinking, "Weren't we good!" rather than, "We sang praises to the Lord."

In Nehemiah after the word was preached it says that the people praised God and said, "Amen! Amen!"

In this way we may come together as the Spirit moves us, in approval of the singing of our choirs, the reading of the word, the preaching of God's word, and show approval in our worship to God by saying, "Amen!"

Prayer: Dear Lord, You are the almighty, the everlasting God. Help us to attain an upright and humble atmosphere in our worship to You. May we come with our gifts given by You, to show we love You. In our fellowship together, may we always give You all the glory and praise. We ask it in Jesus' name. And let all God's people say, "Amen! Amen!"

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Anne Russell <>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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