In Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set a Watchman, the little girl “Scout” from To Kill a Mockingbird is all grown up, and now called by her given name Jean Louise. She returns to her little hometown in Alabama, and goes with her dad and uncle to the church where she was raised. Lee wrote of that Sunday service and said:
“’There’s nothing like a blood-curdling hymn to make you feel at home,’ thought Jean Louise. Any sense of isolation she may have had withered and died in the presence of some two hundred sinners earnestly requesting to be plunged beneath a red, redeeming flood…Jean Louise shared the warmness that prevails among diverse individuals who find themselves in the same boat for one hour each week.” (Lee, Harper, Go Set a Watchman, Harper, New York, 2015, p. 92)
I spoke to our congregation Sunday night about participating in the worship service. Part of our service and ministry to the church where we belong is to be participants, not spectators, in the weekly gatherings of the congregation for worship.
When prayers are being offered, pray. When songs are being sung, sing. When the Word is being preached, listen attentively. Don’t merely watch what is going on in the worship, join in and ‘share the warmness’ that is found in a family of diverse people who agree that the gospel is true and Jesus is worthy of praise.
A friend of mine who preached for us last year made this comment to me: “Your people sing so loud!” He meant it as a compliment, and I received it as such. I don’t know about a “blood-curdling” hymn, but a boisterous, joyful body of people singing loudly to their Lord is a beautiful thing. Let us worship together.