In Psalm 89:15-16, we are told (with apologies to Barbra Streisand) who the luckiest people in the world are:
"Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day…." (ESV).
"Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance. In your name they rejoice all day long" (NKJV).
It's easy to read this as a description of some formal Old Testament liturgical worship service. Anyone can give a festal shout on cue. I was in a studio audience where you're told minutes before the show to "applaud loudly." I understand the West Point cadets at the president's recent Afghanistan war speech were ordered to look enthusiastic; the results were mixed.
I think the psalmist meant people who are really excited about Jesus. They can't help themselves sometimes. There are a couple of woman in my church who have tambourines with colored streamers on them, and they dance in the aisle, off to the side. The pastor once told us from the pulpit not to judge another person's worship. He said you never know if someone in the congregation just got delivered from crack cocaine addiction, and he's too happy to stay in the pew.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.